• Spring Snow Storm of Oct 14, 2015

    Starting from the early hours of October 14, 2015 the IV Region was affected by a weather system that broght considerable rainfall to the La Serena and Coquimbo area, and a significant amount of snow to the Pachón and Tololo area, with the 0 deg isotherm around the 2000 m level. Most was over by the afternoon, and even the sun came out at least in La Serena, but the heavy precipitation left the roads to Tololo and Pachón impassable, and access to our Telescope Operators from the Pachón hotel to SOAR was not possible. The day crew could not drive to SOAR yesterday nor today.

  • Earthquake Impact at SOAR - updated

    Final update October 3

    On the night of September 16, a major earthquake occurred in Chile, with its epicenter near Illapel, south of La Serena and Cerro Pachón. The effects of the earthquake are being widely reported elsewhere; this note is restricted to the impact on SOAR.

    Fortunately, nobody on the local staff or their family suffered any injuries, although in some cases family members were affected by flooding from the tsunami that struck coastal areas.

  • SOAR Instrumentation News

    New Instrument Capabilities

    Goodman HTS. Work on the Goodman Red Camera continues to progress, although final implementation has been delayed by final delivery of the camera electronics. We continue to expect that this capability will be fully available in 2016A, if not sooner. Once it is fully commissioned it will be offered to users who might benefit. The Goodman web pages will be updated once we have detailed information on performance with the new camera.
  • 2015 SOAR Board Meeting

    The SOAR Board held its annual face-to-face budget meeting in La Serena on September 3-4. Aside from approving the budget and staffing levels for FY 2016, the Board set priorities for funding telescope and instruments improvements, and related activities - look for updates as these projects progress.
    In addition, the Board is reviewing the available instrument suite as current instruments age and new instruments become available - see the related article.

  • SOAR Winter Storm

    (Final update, August 18) Over the last 10 days, SOAR was affected by a severe winter storm that occurred on the weekend of August 7. High winds and rain developed during the afternoon and evening of August 7, at which point the dome was evacuated. All staff were evacuated from the mountain 2 days later, with continuing snowfall and wind.