Why did we choose Chile?

It is, of course, a rhetorical question. The location in Chile lays in the south of the Atacama Desert at an altitude of 1,560 metres, in an area with perhaps the best observation conditions in the world, where there are also large world observatories (Gemini South, CTIO, La Silla, Las Campanas ...). The observatory and all observation equipment are fully automated and can be easily operated from Slovenia. We all know that observing conditions are crucial for astronomical observations. If there is no clean and calm atmosphere, even a large telescope does not help much. Our location boasts many favourable features:

Observing conditions

An extremely stable and clean atmosphere, as well as low air humidity, provide superior observing conditions.

Dark sky

A rare location in the world where the sky is still naturally dark. The sky darkness measurements (SQM) are practically always better than 21.8 magnitudes per square second!

Clear nights

The 300 and more clear nights per year ensures smooth implementation of all, even more demanding observations.

Automated

The telescope and all accessories are automated so that all operations can be remotely controlled from Slovenia, including monitoring of weather conditions 24 hours a day.

Sponsors

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners.

Mount

For troubleless remote control, an excellent base is needed. The telescope will be mounted on the ONE50 mount, produced by our project partner FORNAX from Hungary, which has proven to be an excellent solution in various similar projects around the world. The ONE50 mount is distinguished by:

  • robust and precise workmanship
  • accurate tracking with minor periodic error
  • excellent software support
  • high load capacity

Telescopes

The ONE50 mount will be fitted with two technically seamless optical tubes, provided by our project partner SkyPoint from Italy and Sharpstar from China. The smaller optical tube, 76-mm f/4.5 refractor, will be dedicated to the wide-angle exploration of the universe, in particular photographing objects that occupy larger areas of the sky, such as nebulae and open clusters. The larger optical tube, 400-mm f/6.5 Ritchey-Chrétien, will be used for the detailed exploration of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, planetary nebulae and stars. The telescope is distinguished by:

  • robust construction
  • quality optics and mechanics
  • automated focusing and field rotator
  • high light gathering power

Cameras

The optical tubes will be equipped with cooled astronomical cameras, provided by the Chinese manufacturer and our project partner ZWO. Because we use telescopes with field corrections, this allows us to use large-format camera (ASI6200MM Pro and ASI2600MC Pro). Optical filters will also be available for use: LRGB, H-alpha, O3 and S2. The cameras feature:

  • cooled sensor
  • high sensitivity
  • low reading noise
  • fast loading of images

Location in Chile

The location in Chile (30°27'N and 70°45'W) Chile lays in the south of the Atacama Desert at an altitude of 1,560 metres, in an area with perhaps the best observation conditions in the world, where there are also large world observatories (Gemini South, CTIO, La Silla, Las Campanas ...). The observatory and all observation equipment are fully automated and can be easily operated from Slovenia.

Team

In order to get the Slovenian telescope positioned in the best possible location for astronomical observations in Chile, a lot of enthusiasm was required to start off with. The project in its entirety has been designed by Andreja Gomboc and Matej Mihelčič, and has been brought to its realisation with the help of some outstanding individuals from Slovenia and abroad. In April 2020, we can expect the first results with the Slovenian telescope in Chile! GoChile for more astronomy!

Prof. Dr. Andreja Gomboc
Professor of Astronomy, University of Nova Gorica

For scientific research, we spend less per capita than a cup of coffee.

Matej Mihelčič
Technical manager, Spika

The best location, with top-quality equipment, for top results.