Exploring Chile & the Skies of the Southern Hemisphere
Featuring Christopher Johns-Krull, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
To learn more about this faculty leader, watch his Faculty Spotlight here!
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On this Traveling Owls expedition, explore world-class observatories that crown the northern mountaintops of Chile as well as its diverse geography and wildlife. Meet astronomers who peer deeper into the universe than ever before. Be one of the few to see the massive 66-antenna Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) impressive array of giant antennas located at an elevation of 16,000 feet on the Chajnantor Plateau. Visit the Paranal Observatory which hosts several world-class telescopes; Rice Professor Christopher M. Johns-Krull using these large telescopes has shed light on how Earth-like planets may form. We’ll observe the evening skies of the desert using large amateur telescopes. Your adventure continues in the spectacular Atacama Desert exploring extraordinary landscapes — volcanoes, geysers, evaporated salt lakes and hot springs. Desert wildlife includes vicunas, wild relatives of the llamas, and Andean flamingos. A Santiago city tour includes the Pre-Colombian Museum. We’ll then travel south to Chile’s Lake District to behold breathtaking scenery. Ancient groves of Araucaria (monkey puzzle trees), volcanic lakes and lagoons surround the area's snow-capped volcanoes. Enjoy a spectacular view from the summit of Villarrica, one of Chile’s most active volcanoes. Try white water rafting or explore lava tubes. An optional fishing excursion can be added. Visit the charming Swiss-like town of Pucón.