NOIRLab is committed to providing employees and guests with a safe and healthy work environment. In pursuit of this goal, managers and supervisors are tasked with ensuring that work, conducted in their area, does not pose a potential risk to the health and well being of the assigned personnel. Employees of NOIRLab also have a key role in this program by maintaining a safety conscious work attitude. Unsafe conditions or health and safety concerns should be reported to the supervisor or the NOIRLab Risk Management Office immediately. Employees involved in an activity that could reasonably be considered to pose a serious threat to life or health have the right, under OSHA regulations, to cease work until the condition can be reviewed and abated.

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is a division of the NSF's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory and is a complex of astronomical telescopes and instruments located at 30.169 S, 70.804 W, approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 metres.

NSF's National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab)  Facilities and Operations

NOIRLab Facilities and Operations provides summit and base facilities infrastructure services to Programs that operate on AURA-O property.  Details of the Services provided by NOIRLab Facilities and Operations can be found in Service Level Agreement and generally include road maintenance, common electrical power systems, water and waste water systems,  communications, contracted security service, emergency medical services, lodging service, meal service,  transportation services, and others.


US Embassy Santiago: (56-2) 330-3000
AURA Main Office La Serena: 205 200

Director CTIO Stephen Heathcote: 205 293

Administrative Manager Leonor Opazo: 205 227

Police: 133 landline | 112 cell
Paramedic clinic on Pachón: 205 722
Paramedic clinic on Tololo: 205 440
La Serena Gate: 205 282
Safety Engineer: Mariela Silva: 205 382

General Information for Travelers

International telephone access code: 56
La Serena city code: 51
Costa Real Hotel: 221 010
Taxi: Ramon Caro cell 09-5408562
Lan Chile, the Chilean airline
Background Notes
Health Information


  • For safety reasons it is strictly forbidden the consumption of alcoholic beverages while your are observing or working at the Observatory.
  • It may be advisable to slightly restrict your diet while in Chile, avoided uncooked shell fish, vegetables, and tap water.
  • The water in the La Serena Compound, on Cerro Pachon and Cerro Tololo is carefully treated and should cause no difficulty; elsewhere we recommend you drink bottled water, soft drinks, instead of tap water.


By Air
LATAM (flights are listed as LA) offers daily flight service between Santiago and La Serena, departing from the Domestic Terminal; the flight time is approximately 50 minutes. For current flight schedules online please go to Visiting observers should also be aware that the free baggage limit on domestic airlines is 20 kgs. If your luggage is far over the limit, you may have the Santiago Office arrange to send the bags to La Serena on a bus line. The cost for a round trip airline ticket Santiago/La Serena/ Santiago is approximately US$170.

By Bus
Bus lines with sleeper seats serving Santiago/ La Serena/ Santiago are: Buses Libac, Pullman, Romani, Tur Bus. They all arrive and leave Santiago from the San Borja Terminal. One-way fare is approximately US$30 (16.000 pesos) depending upon the bus line, and the trip takes approximately seven hours. All buses have two drivers , a stewardess, and bathroom. For reference, there usually are departures from Santiago to La Serena or vice versa at 9:30am, 2:00pm, and 11:30pm.

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

Contact   |   Employment   |   LSST Corporation

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