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□□□ See also:
Remote Astronomy at Observatorio del Pangue
We still offer a service of hosting telescopes or private observatories for those stargazers who enjoy accessing to the Southern sky in optimal conditions. Don't worry for technical support or high speed internet, we provide it all. Below is an example posted by Evasope, our most recent customer. For more information and availabilities, just ask us.



Contact us at : astronomicasur@gmail.com



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Vease también:
ALERTA EN TURISMO ASTRONÓMICO:
SEPAN DE LOS OBSERVATORIOS QUE NO LO SON !... (click aqui)


□□□ CONSULTEN AQUI LAS PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES EN ASTRONOMÍA

IMAGEN ASTRONÓMICA DEL DÍA


□□□ ...Y DE PASO ECHEN UN VISTAZO A LA IMAGEN ASTRONÓMICA DEL DÍA :

Click here to link to the original site "Astronomy Picture of the Day".

Cliquer ici pour accéder à la version française "Image Astronomique du Jour".


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Astrophotography at Pangue - part V

We just keep taking advantage of the local sky conditions that remain perfect, indifferent to the current world situation...

Main view of the central part of the complex nebula NGC3372, in Carina...

Centaurus A (NGC5128), a collision of galaxies that we can witness (almost) in live...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - May, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.4, total exposure 45 minutes

May, 10th : two supernovae at once !...

Comet SWAN is gone, at least for southern observers, but we have been granted as soon with the spectacle of two supernovae visible at the same time, a bright one in a faint galaxy, and a fainter one in a bright galaxy !

The first one is SN2020hvf, a type Ia supernova happening in the remote galaxy NGC3643, in Leo. At a magnitude of 12.4, this is the brightest supernova visible in over a year, outshining the galaxy itself !

Full view, with the supernova marked on the right one. The host galaxy is barely visible to its upper right. The bright spot at the upper left corner is the much brighter galaxy NGC3640.
Closer view, showing the host galaxy NGC3643 (centre), with the supernova to its lower left.

The next one is SN2020jfo, a type II supernova at an estimated magnitude of 14.5, happening in the magnificent galaxy M61 in Virgo: strange enough, supernovae in beautiful galaxies are quite rare, so this one is highly appreciated by observers...

Full view, with the supernova marked on the bottom one.
The closer view below shows the details of the complex structure of the host galaxy, with the supernova to its inmediate right.

All photos: Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - May, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 16 minutes

Astrophotography at Pangue - part IV

The Milky Way, with the galactic centre... at the centre.

Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - May, 2020 - Canon 60D with 16mm lens f/2.8, single exposure 10 minutes

Astrophotography at Pangue - part III

Detail of the Eagle Nebula (IC4703), in Serpens. Note the dark nebulas near the centre, wellknown as the "Pillars of Creation", a famous feature revealed in 1995 by the Hubble Space telescope.

Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - May, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 32 minutes

The magnificent galaxy M83, in Hydra...

Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - April, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 20 minutes

More due soon...

Astrophotography at Pangue - part II

Below: Swan nebula (M17), in Sagittarius. West is up
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - April, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 22 minutes

Below: Barnard dark nebula B86 and open cluster NGC6520, in Sagittarius. North is up
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - April, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 15 minutes

Below: detail in the Eta Carinae nebula (NGC3372), the view is centered at roughly 40' south to the proper Eta Carinae star. North is up
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - April, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 22 minutes

Below: detail in the central area of the Running Chicken nebula (IC2944), in Centaurus. The field is approximately 15' wide. North is up
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - April, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, total exposure 22 minutes

More due soon...

Finally a bright comet !...

It has been a long time since we got a spectacular comet in our sky (yes, we said it before...) and SWAN (c/2020 F8) might be the next one.

Although being still a little bit more distant than the Sun, it already shines at magnitude 7.5, very promising indeed, with a peak in brightness expected at 3 or even 2.5 by late May, so it's well worth to keep an eye on it.

On the last nights the comet could be observed in the southern constellation of Sculptor, not far from Fomalhault, just one hour before the beginning of dawn, and we've been there !

Below, comet Swan on April, 20th, single exposure 9 minutes

On the closer view below, can you glimpse the subtle reddish tail (upward) emerging from the green coma?

Below, comet Swan on April, 22nd, total exposure 18 minutes

On the morning of May, 2nd, the comet reached a magnitude of 5.0, and offered stunning views at the eyepiece. The picture below has been overexposed on purpose as to capture the subtle structure of the straight tail (the coma is kept out of field). Note also a diminute faint fuzzy toward the upper end of the tail, this is not a fragment of the nucleus, instead it is a distant galaxy (PGC293, estimated at some 380 millions light-years away...) The position in sky of the comet at that particular moment was approximately R.A. 00h05m12sec, dec. -14°24'19'' (J2000.0)

Now that the long time awaited comet ATLAS (c/2029 Y4) is breaking badly, the sole expectation for a naked-eye spectacle comes on SWAN only, although it is running too far North to be appreciated from our southern skies, so we'll just keep very attentive to the news from northern observers...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.4

The Day the Earth Stood Still...

From early March we are living difficult times worldwide, but the stars are always here, waiting for us to look at them again...

Until further notice, the observatory no longer receives visitors, but astrophotography doesn't need to stop, and so we even take advantage of this extra time to capture some of the local wonders, as presented below...

NGC6188 nebula (far bottom) and rich starry fields in Ara
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - March, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of 80mm Refractor f/4.9, 18 exposures totalling 4.5 minutes

NGC2024, the complex Flame nebula
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - March, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of SCT Meade 403mm reduced at f/6.1, 10 minutes exposures

NGC3532 star cluster (left) and NGC3372 nebula (right)
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - March, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of 80mm Refractor f/4.9, 48 exposures totalling 12 minutes

IC2944, the Running Chicken nebula (right). The field is approximately 1°15' wide and 2°15' height. West is up
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - March, 2020 - Canon 60D at prime focus of 80mm Refractor f/4.9, 60 exposures totalling 15 minutes

Milky Way with Large Magellanic Cloud (upper left corner)
Cristian Valenzuela / Observatorio del Pangue - March, 2020 - Canon 60D with 100mm lens, single exposure 2 minutes

More due soon...

Lately, at the Observatorio del Pangue...

First, you arrive at Santiago de Chile...

...then you want to travel North and meet our clear skies !


Photos: (1)Eric Escalera (2)Jean Pichon / Observatorio del Pangue

In this column we display some of the most relevant news, pictures, or feelings happening around the observatory.

For a complete information on the place and the proposed programmes, you can visit our "facts" pages, listed at the top of the blog.

...and lastly, as to check if we really are as famous as the below picture suggests, don't hesitate to visit us, we'd be glad indeed to receive you...


The Observatory and the Moon...

On the evening of January, 26th, the Moon decided to set exactly behind the domes of the Cerro Tololo International Observatory (CTIO), as seen from our own observatory... not quite a cosmic alignement, but definitely an opportunity to get nice pictures of a somehow rare event.

Photos below: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - January, 26th, 2020

Photo below: Fernando Arancibia, visitor to the Observatorio del Pangue - January, 26th, 2020

Comet 2i/ Borisov, an interstellar visitor we didn't want to miss !

This comet has been discovered in August 2019 by the amateur astronomer Gennadiy Borisov, and soon it appeared that it doesn't belong to the Solar System: this is the second object that we clearly identified as being interstellar (previous one was the asteroid 1i/ Oumuamua). The comet was not an easy target for amateur astronomers, since it's apparent magnitude never came brighter than 15.6, nevertheless on the evening of December, 26th, we managed to capture it on a series of pictures, and we even observed it visually at the 25-inch telescope (thanks to the clear skies of Chile...)

Below is one of the pictures : the two fuzzy spots on the upper half of the field are faint galaxies, while the comet is the even fainter spot below the center of the field, immediately right to a little star. The coordinates of the comet at that precise moment were (J2000) 11h56m53s/-31°49'43", in the Hydra constellation (North is up).
Same picture, with the comet circled...

And, just in case, here is a picture of the same area, taken some 20 minutes later, showing the actual motion of the comet...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - December, 26th, 2019
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, exposure: 25 seconds, at prime focus of Meade LX200 16-inch telescope.

Transit of Mercury, November 11th, 2019: done !...

The Moon wasn't the only celestial body supposed to pass right in front of the Sun this year : a transit of the planet Mercury was scheduled for that morning of November 11th, visible from all the Americas, and certainly we didn't miss such an opportunity to witness one more rare event.

The picture below shows the greatest moment of the phenomenon, that is when Mercury stands at its closest from the centre of the solar disk : can you glimpse that tiny dark spot, almost perfectly centered on the Sun ? If you do, compare the apparent size of the planet (10 arcsec.) with that of the Sun, almost 200 times greater. Note also that the solar surface is completely free of sunspots, as it has been for the last two years, indeed a very unusual circumstance that maybe helps to make Mercury appear a little bit more relevant !
The darker areas faintly visible all over the solar disk are not actual features, but only some thin clouds crossing through our own atmosphere. Still the sky was clear enough to allow to watch the entire phenomenon. Let's hope that the next transit of Mercury will have good weather as well.
That will be in November 2032...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, at prime focus of 80mm refractor at f/11

Total Eclipse of the Sun, July 2nd, 2019 : huge success for everyone !...

The weather was perfect, not a single cloud in the skies of the whole "Region de Coquimbo", not even in the coast, usually cloudy in winter. All the groups or eclipse chasers have been granted with a stunning spectacle, any location worked well, from the centre of Vicuña, to the summits of the nearby mountains. We at the Observatorio del Pangue were more concerned about attending our many guests than the weather itself, but we must admit that when the crucial moment arrives, everyone forgets all the rest... At the telescope, during the totality, the Sun limb displayed a wonderful series of large and complex proeminences (we counted 4 of them) plus a shorter series of smaller ones: that was almost unexpected in this time of minimal Sun activity (not a single sunspot visible...). And of course the Sun corona was there, always large, different, sophisticatedly structured. Without loosing too much visual observing time (the eternal dilemma...) Cristian even managed to take some quick shots of it (below): the polar lines are obvious, as well as the wide equatorial extensions.

See you next year then, still in Chile, for the December 14th, 2020, Total Eclipse of the Sun...

In preview for the eclipse: a rare planet occultation...

We are all waiting for the chance to witness the Total Eclipse of the Sun that will happen here in the afternoon of next July, 2nd. The Moon itself seems impatient, since in the evening of June, 18th, as an "avant-premiere" of the great event, it offered to us a wonderful and quite uncommon spectacle by occulting the planet Saturn.

Beside the nice and unusual sights, it is rather impressive to imagine the contrasts involved in such an encounter. In the view above, the tiny Moon shows huge compared to the diminute, still giant, planet (about 40 times larger), while the discrepancy in distances is even greater: the Moon was almost 400.000 km away from us, while Saturn stood at some 1.400.000.000 of km !...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - June, 18th, 2019
Picture taken with smartphone...

Comet Wirtanen fulfills expectations

The comet 46P/ Wirtanen reached its perigee on December, 16th, approaching Earth at less than 12 million kilometers. Such a circumstance uses to be the best time to observe a comet but it wasn't in this case, due to the presence in the sky of a bright Moon... But the comet is getting as bright as sheduled, so the spectacle might go on for a few days after the moonlight nights, that will be in the last week of December.

Meanwhile we took a picture of the comet some days ago (before the coming of the Moon...) and still it displayed a round, bright, and particularely dense coma, which extended for over 40': yes, that's more than the apparent size of the Full Moon ! In the next days, its apparent size and brightness should make it an easy naked eye target: it will pass very close to the bright star Capella (Auriga) by December 24th, then heading to the Gemini constellation for most of January. Don't miss that opportunity to observe it, since spectacular comets tend to be scarce...

Below: comet Wirtanen on December, 10th.

Below: for comparison, comet Wirtanen on November, 9th., taken under the same circumstances...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, at prime focus of Meade 16" LX200 scope

December 2018: the return of the great comets ?...

It has been a long time since we observed spectacular comets in our skies, however a series of bright comets is announced to visit us, among which is 46P/ Wirtanen, expected to reach magnitude 3.0 by late December, that would make it easily visible to the naked eye !
As an "avant-premiere", we captured it when still faint but easy to find, quietly running across the Fornax constellation: on the below picture we can distinguish the prominent nucleus, together with a still reduced, but quite promising, dense coma.

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - November, 8th, 2018
Camera: Canon EOS 60D, exposure: 20 seconds

Earlier on that same night, the heavens displayed this peaceful view of the thin crescent Moon (illuminated disk 2% only) ready to set close to the Observatorio Tololo, silhouetted to the right, while the bright spot to the far left is ...planet Jupiter! Note also the full disk of the Moon, visible as a faint dark area completing the white crescent...

Photos: Cristian Valenzuela/Observatorio del Pangue - November, 8th, 2018

August, the lost month...

The Universe never takes a break, but astronomers do. So we were closed for the whole month of August: sorry for the many of you who requested booking on these past days... However we never completely remove astronomy from our schedules, as shown in the following pictures.

Thanks to astrophysicists Dominique Proust, who organized it, and Regis Courtin who performed it, we've been granted with a private visit at the Meudon Observatory, a great research institute for astrophysics located near Paris (France) that hosts (among many telescopes) a historical refractor, still one of the largest in the world...

Of course we then made the inevitable visit at the Eiffel Tower, but we adorned it with the rise of the full Moon: can you see the "tiny" round reddish spot close to the left feet of the tower? Such views demostrate, if necessary, that the "huge" apparent size of the rising Moon is a pure illusion...

In Prague (Czech Republic) we got plenty of stunning views of this outstanding city: on the night picture of King's Charles bridge, look for the bright dot shining alone in the sky: this is planet Mars, near opposition ! (Next is a day view, for better appreciating the city skyline)

There are countless wonders in Prague, but we even managed to find some other interesting spots, such as the living house of astronomer Johannes Kepler (below), and the one of physicist Christian Doppler (far below): yes, both of them made the largest part of their famous works in this town!...

At some point, Eric managed to spend some time in his ancestral land, in Asturias (Northern Spain): at a street corner of Gijón, he casually glimpsed the thin crescent Moon, resting for a few moments atop a local monument...

Cristian instead selected to visit Venice (Italy): no need of any astronomical views here, the city is fascinating enough by itself...

Back to Paris, the "tour" ended by a well deserved rest in a quite famous seat: the actual Iron Throne from the popular HBO series "Game of Thrones", exhibited there for a few days (Game of Thrones - The Touring Exhibition - Paris 2018)

...Cristian seems to feel more comfortable than the seven contenders...

Spying the neighbors

Yes, we do it sometimes ! Here are the views we got through our 25 inches telescope : actually nothing else than more observatories...
All of them are located at a mere 11km away from us, that explains the detailed pictures below, simply taken with a reflex Canon camera held at the eyepiece.

Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO) :

Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research (SOAR) :

and last but not least, the Gemini South Observatory :

...