AURA-O Chile

AURA Observatory Site

The AURA Observatory site in Chile consists of two sections of land.   The actual telescope sites are located on AURA's "Estancia El Totoral," a site of more than 90,000 acres including two operational mountaintops, Cerro Tololo at 2,200m and Cerro Pachon at 2,750m.  In La Serena, AURA-O operates the "AURA Recinto," a 33 acre compound hosting offices, laboratories, administration and facilities support staff. 

AURA Observatory in Chile manages the site under the general terms of the AURA Observatory Charter (pdf), which sets out the fundamental operational terms and relationships between AURA Observatory and the programs and other units operating on the AURA site.


AURA-O is committed to preserving the workplace safety and health of its workers and visitors, and the integrity and quality of its physical property and assets, in accordance with the principles and mandates of the Chilean Accident Prevention and Occupational Health Law, the environmental protection laws, appropriate United States OSHA mandates, and best practices of the industry.

AURA-O is committed to the preservation of the natural environment under its custody, and to keeping it free of contaminants or pollution, as well as to the preservation of the natural life, bio-diversity, historical and other environmental assets under its jurisdiction.

In accordance with AURA’s juridical status and the Chilean Civil Law, the legal responsibility for safety and environmental issues on the AURA Observatory rests solely with AURA, executed through the faculties of representation granted to its legal Representative. Each Program is responsible for complying with the fundamental safety policies and procedures defined by AURA-O. Every Program, however, is encouraged to devote whatever resources it deems appropriate to enhance workplace safety for their workers within their respective facilities above and beyond the minimum standards set by AURA-O policies and procedures.


US Embassy Santiago: (56-2) 330-3000
AURA Main Office La Serena: 205 200
Head of Mission - Dr. Mario Hamuy
Administrative Specialist - Camila Ibarlucea: 205 217
Police: 133 landline | 112 cell, Ambulance 131, Fire Brigade 132

Paramedic clinic on Pachón: 205 722
Paramedic clinic on Tololo: 205 440
La Serena Gate: 205 282
Safety Officer: Mario Gonzalez: 205 372

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

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

Admin Login

Back to Top