Our library, specialized in Astronomy and Astrophysics, was born in the mid 1800's when President Manuel Montt became interested in buying instruments and buildings from the United States for the construction of a National Observatory for the Republic of Chile. Together with these instruments, the first books of our collection were acquired, which over the years, increased with donations, exchanges and permanent acquisitions, became a service whose main mission is to support research and teaching, especially since 1965 when the National Astronomical Observatory became part of the Department of Astronomy of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences of the University of Chile.
In the Millimeter Wave Laboratory, receivers are designed, built and tested for use in radio astronomy. For this, it has a multidisciplinary group of astronomers, engineers, technicians and graduate students, together with the Department of Electrical Engineering (DIE) of the University of Chile.The Laboratory is currently participating in several projects related to millimeter wave receivers, including the ASTE, NANTEN2 and ALMA observatories, in collaboration with countries in Europe, North America, and Japan. In addition, it has a small radio telescope for use in teaching and in technology development tests.
Since 2002 and thanks to a donation from the Japanese people, the Department of Astronomy of the University of Chile has a modern 45cm Cassegrain telescope, Goto brand, which allows astronomical observations, both imagery and spectroscopic. Its main use is the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students in Astronomy, in the handling of telescopes and instruments with characteristics similar to those used in the large observatories in the North of Chile.
The Coronado SolarMax90 Telescope allows observation of the Sun and its spots thanks to the bandwidth in which it works and its specially designed filters. This instrument is used in the program of Day visits, which are exclusive for schools, giving attendees the opportunity to observe with a telescope.
It is a small area radio telescope whose objective is to observe large areas of the sky in reasonable periods (a few years). The device initially operated at the Cerro Tololo Observatory through a collaboration with Columbia University, and was transferred to Cerro Calán between 2009 and 2010. The current scientific use of the radio telescope includes two major topics: the study of the densest regions of molecular clouds, where stars are formed; and the preparation of a complete map of carbon monoxide (CO) in the Southern Hemisphere, complementing that of the Northern Hemisphere already in progress at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University, with a similar telescope.