I cannot express how honored I am for being selected to the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program (ACEAP) expedition this year. I have dreamed of experiencing the professional observatories in Chile since I was young. Chile is home to some of the greatest conditions on Earth for astronomical observatories due to the low moisture, high elevation, and remote distances from city lights.
I will be traveling with 8 other astronomy educators to visit the world renowned astronomy observatories in Chile from June 16th-28th. We will be learning about the facilities and current research being conducted at these locations. Once we return to the U.S., our duty is to educate schools and communities about these facilities including how to access observatory data and additional resources. Observatories such as these in Chile, are instruments that help us better understand the workings of our universe, which is what thrills me most when educating others about astronomy. My goal is to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers during my outreach. Above all, astronomy is an unifying language that all humans can connect with. This is truly an experience that I want to build upon and make the most of while at the observatories! Please subscribe to my blog by clicking the RSS button in the top right and tuned for my posts to follow the trip!
We will be visiting the Gemini South observatory near the summit of Cerro Pachon seen above. The beautiful pollution free atmosphere at an elevation of 8,930 ft makes this a perfect site for astronomy!
The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory is another site we will visit near La Serena at 7,200 ft elevation. Once again, the dry climate and high elevation make this site ideal for astronomical research!
The incredible ALMA array is located at an elevation of 16,500 ft! Fortunately we will visit their lower site at 10,000 ft to acclimate before traveling up to the high elevation site.