Las Campanas Observatory


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Las Campanas Observatory

(lahs kahm-pah -nahs) An observatory near La Serena, Chile, sited on Cerro Las Campanas, at an altitude of 2300 meters; the seeing at this site is exceptional. The Observatory is owned by the Carnegie Institution of Washington. The principal instruments are the 2.5-meter Irenee du Pont Telescope, which went into operation in 1977, and the 1-meter Swope Telescope, which was named for Henrietta Swope and became operational in 1971. Two lightweight 6.5-meter telescopes – the Magellan Telescopes – came into operation at the start of the 21st century. Magellan I, also called the Walter Baade Telescope, saw first light in 2000; Magellan II, otherwise known as the Landon Clay Telescope, began working as a science instrument in 2002.