THE ORIGIN OF THE PLANETS – ASTRONOMICAL IMMERSION (5D-4N)

San Pedro de Atacama

All year (5 days and 4 nights)

The Origin of the Planets is an educational experience aiming to disseminate knowledge to travellers. During the day we will visit the most important spots of San Pedro and during the night we will have interesting chats and observations led by a PhD Astronomer. This is a full immersion experience, specially designed for astronomy lovers.

Day 1 – Calama Airport – San Pedro de Atacama – Moon Valley – Observation

Private transfer from Calama Airport to San Pedro de Atacama (1:30 minutes approx).

Half-day Moon & Death Valley Excursion (16:00 – 19:00): In the evening, one of the most expected moments is sunset, and the best place to wait for it is the “Cordillera de la Sal” with its valleys, which are called Valle de Marte (Mars Valley) and Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), which are saline and clayed shapes, a product of mineralogical folds that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago, originating little mountains with strange and capricious shapes, that sunset turns them into a moon landscape scene. Includes English speaking guide and entrance fee. Cheese & Wine included.

After the tour, we will have the first chat with our Astronomer: “Origin of Stars and Planets” talking about the birth of stars and protoplanetary disks. Observation: stars forming regions along the Milky Way (only binoculars needed, not included). After that, we will have our first astronomical observation in a quiet place near San Pedro in order to put into practice what was talked about. We will talk and enjoy a great session with the Astronomer. Includes chairs, table, blankets, picnic dinner, snack and hot beverage.

 

Day 2 – Altiplanic Lagoons – Observation

Full-day Excursion to Atacama Salt Flat and Altiplanics Miscanti – Meñiques Lagoons (8:00 – 16:00): These lagoons are located at 4.500 m. above the sea level. They are of great beauty. In their landscapes varied shades of colours can be appreciated, also, their flora and fauna are singular, since they exist only in these protected areas. Visit to Toconao and Socaire villages. Includes lunch, English speaking guide and entrance fees.

After the tour and before the dinner we will have the second chat with our Astronomer: “Exoplanets” talking about the broad diversity of known planetary systems, and about existing theories to explain this diversity. Observation: Solar System objects (Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, etc.) (1 telescope of 12 mm. included).

After dinner (dinner not included), we will have our second astronomical observation in a quiet place near San Pedro in order to put into practice what was talked about. We will talk and enjoy a great session with the Astronomer. Includes chairs, table, blankets, snacks, and hot beverages.

 

Day 3 – Observatories Day

Today we will have Observatories Day.

In the morning we will visit ALMA Observatory. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is an astronomical interferometer of radio telescopes in the Atacama Desert. We will have the chance to visit the camp where employees live, the technical building where they work —which contains laboratories and the antenna control room, among others— and you will usually see antennas undergoing maintenance and an antenna transporter. Our professional astronomer will help us to understand better all that ALMA implies. Return to San Pedro at 13:00.

IMPORTANT NOTE: ALMA is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. The admission is free and includes a return transfer from San Pedro. Pick up at 8:45 AM in a meeting point in San Pedro and return approx at 13:00 in the same point. Admission is via the web and has to be done by the final customers.

At night we will visit a touristic observatory (SPACE) where we will have the experience to observe through telescopes and the company of our professional Astronomer.

 

Day 4 – Tatio Geysers – Farewell dinner & Observation

Full-day Excursion to Geysers of Tatio (5:00 AM – 12:00): Exploration of the highest geothermic area, located at 4.300 mts. above the sea level in the Andean Range. The geothermic fields have their origins in magma. The waters from The Andes thaws filtrate between crust cracks going down to deep hot zones, finally, water reaches the magma rising as steam and boiling water, forming the steam columns and springs. In the return, nature gives us a spectacular landscape full of mountains and volcanoes over 5.500 mts. above the sea level, and also an important bird fauna on the little rivers that flow to the great Salar de Atacama. Includes breakfast, English speaking guide and entrance fees. Free afternoon.

In the evening, we will have our final astronomical observation and final DINNER in a quiet place near San Pedro. During dinner we will have the last chat with our Astronomer: “Stella Death” talking about stellar evolution and its endpoints as supernovae and planetary nebulae, with connexions to the origin of the elements, and the formation of black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs. Observation: planetary nebulae (1 telescope of 12 mm. included). Then we will talk and enjoy a great session with the Astronomer. Includes chairs, table, blankets and a special dinner at the desert.

 

Day 5 – San Pedro de Atacama – Calama Airport

Private transfer from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport (1:30 minutes approx).

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