At least not in the winter. I mean, summer. I mean, January. You see how this gets confusing.

Anyways, I was in La Serena, Chile a few weeks ago to visit the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope construction site on Cerro Pachon, which is where we’ll ultimately install the giant camera we’re building at SLAC. Turns out it’s summer in the southern hemisphere. Also turns out the stars are different, and stargazing is pretty entertaining and illuminating (quite literally) when you’re on a dark mountaintop with a bunch of astronomers.

This is mostly going to be a dump of pictures with semi-relevant captions. Get excited.

First stop was the mountaintop next to Cerro Pachon, which is called Cerro Tololo and is the home to the Blanco Telescope as well as a bunch of other smaller robotic telescopes. This was right before sunset when us and the observers gathered outside to watch the sunset and hopefully catch a green flash.
Sadly, it was a little hazy for a green flash, but still beautiful.
Mini-telescopes nestled down the ridge from the large Blanco telescope
View from the inside of the Blanco Telescope with the Dark Energy Cam installed.
I don’t know what a chopper bit is but I really want to. Also, get off your high horse!
The road up to Cerro Pachon was a little daunting, but we made it.
LSST is still missing a dome, but we’ll get there. Eventually. Maybe. Schedule is looking a little sketchy but it’s definitely going to happen at some point in the near future.

All in all it was a fun trip, minus the 24 hour travel time each way, and it was pretty exciting to see the project coming together. My favorite part? The LSST fire department mascot, obviously. Because where else would you see a cartoon telescope dome wielding a super awkward fire hose?!