Going to SPACE in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.
SPACE star tour in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
I’m fascinated by the stars. Mostly, I suppose, because I’m a city girl and I don’t get to see them that often. Chicago is filled with big building and lots of light. I’m lucky if I can see a handful at a time.
So I was beyond excited when I read about SPACE — San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations — in my guidebook. SPACE is the largest public observatory in Chile and every night they host tours. I booked an 11pm tour which had me whining beforehand because making plans for late at night makes me just want to curl up in bed and fall asleep.
But I’m happy I did the tour. So happy.
Just stepping off the bus and looking up was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I could see around 3,000 stars. And that was just with my eye.
Our guide pointed out constellations, explained to us what some of them meant, explained to us how earlier man used them to tell seasons, to explain the world.
And then we got to look through telescopes. Telescopes bigger than me pointed at dead stars and planets, and star clusters.
And then there were the shooting stars. I couldn’t believe when a few people, at the end of the night, said they saw none. Where were they looking? Because I saw at least five. Five. In one night. In two hours.
Can I take some of these stars back to Chicago?
Point out 20 constellations is number 164 on my life list. But I certainly can’t do that after just 2 hours. Though this tour really had me wanting to get a telescope and learn more!