San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations

The complete solution to observe the Atacama sky

Gene Shoemaker Observatory

The Gene Shoemaker Observatory is the research part of the observatory. It has been named after the famed planetologist Eugene Shoemaker, but also personal friend of Alain Maury. The goal of this observatory is to study Near Earth Objects and comets.
For now it is equipped with a 30cm newtonian telescope. It is equipped with a Audine 1602 camera (1024x1532 pixels) and a goto system. In the future, more powerful telescopes will be installed, as well as wider field cameras.
The science activity at the observatory has been for now quite limited. We have observed some occultations of Pluto in collaboration with a team from Paris Observatory (published in Nature January 2006 "Charon's size and an upper limit on its atmosphere from a stellar occultation" Sicardy et al and before that Nature July 2003 "Large changes in Pluto's atmosphere as revealed by recent stellar occultations".

In collaboration with Campo Catino Observatory, we have participated in the microfun project, which has discovered a few exoplanets. To be published in the Astrophysical Journal "Microlensing Event MOA-2007-BLG-400: Exhuming the Buried Signature of a Cool, Jovian-Mass Planet"

I hope to do more solar system astrometry rapidly (comets and asteroids), but it takes time, and I don't have much free time. 
Here is a picture of both telescopes with their shelters, with the early version of CAO's telescope.

Telescopes T300 T500

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  • Address: Caracoles 166, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
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