NOIRLab is pleased to receive public and educational visits at no cost to our site, and make every effort to accommodate the public interested in learning about astronomical research/engineering activities. A minimum of 24 hours notice is necessary for scheduled public visit requests.
- At the AURA Recinto, tours are limited to 20 visitors per tour.
- The minimum number of confirmed visitors to operate a tour is four people. If that number is not reached day by 12 pm local time the previous day, the tour will be canceled and the confirmed visitors alerted by email and phone by the coordinator of the local visit.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Visits may also be canceled because of operational problems, bad weather, natural disaster, accidents, or any other case of force majeure.
- Minors under six years old are not permitted.
You must read and comply with our regulations. A form will need to be signed before sending your visit request.
When to Visit?
What will you see on the tour?
Previously booked visitors will gather at the AURA Recinto gate, located in Avenida Juan Cisternas 1500, La Serena, at 10:00 am on the day of the visit. The group will be directed by the NOIRLab visit guide to the AURA Lecture Hall located at the Gemini South building, where the organization will be presented, after which, the visitors will be guided to the Gemini South Remote Observing room to learn how astronomers perform their astronomical observations. The group will then continue to the Main Building Reception Hall to learn about the the history of AURA/NOIRLab facilities, continuing to the Data Center to understand engineering processes related to astronomy data science, and stopping for a picture at front of the building glass mural. The tour will continue with a visit to the Instrument Shop where many fundamental parts and pieces are fabricated and repaired for the proper operation of the telescopes. The tour will finish in Casa 8 with an observing experience of the Sun with one of our outreach telescopes — if weather permits. Around 12:00 am visitors will leave the facility.
How to book a Public visit?
- Select a Tour below and complete the Reservation Form at least 24 hours in advance of your desired date.
- You need to fill in one Reservation Form for each visitor.
- The sites you are visiting are active worksites so please accept the Liability rules and recommendations provided in the Form.
- Once you have submitted the form, you will receive an automated email informing you that we have received your booking; if you do not receive this notification please check your spam folder and if still not found send an email to us.
- Please note that every effort will be made to follow through with your planned visit; however, certain circumstances may prevent us from being able to conduct the visit as planned. It is advisable to have a plan B, in case the visit is canceled. This can occur if the site become inaccessible due to weather, earthquake, or if there is an unplanned engineering event etc. If we need to cancel the visit we will let you know by e-mail as soon as we become aware of the potential issue.
Travel information to the AURA Recinto in La Serena, Chile, can be found here.