When I arrived in Santiago in July of 1999, Chile’s capital city was in the midst of a normal winter, which meant mild overcast mornings and afternoons of hazy sun. For a country that prides itself on having some of the best astronomical seeing in the world, it looked more like Geneva in December, completely socked in and gray. But an hour’s flight north of Santiago, the weather dramatically improves—or so I was told—and I was soon touching down in La Serena, a small resort city on the coast. Just inland, and within easy driving distance of La Serena, lie two of the world’s best observatories: the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and the European Southern Observatory’s facility at La Silla.
KeywordsSolar System Protoplanetary Disk Planet Formation Circumstellar Disk Methanol Maser
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