Latin American School of Observational Astronomy 2017

In Latin America there is great enthusiasm for astronomy and interest in developing local observatories, but there are few astronomers in some of these countries able to develop new talents. In 2008, members of the Astronomy Institute at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and the Instituto Nacional de Astronomía, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) developed a short course including theoretical lectures with nightly observations for undergraduate students with little knowledge of astronomy. The National Observatory in Tonantzintla hosts the Latin American School of Observational Astronomy to take advantage of its 1m telescope and various smaller telescopes. The twelve students chosen for the course from the applicants come from various countries in Central and South America. From Monday to Friday during the three-week course, they attend two lectures given by professors from the best universities in Mexico and they learn observational techniques during nightly observing sessions with professional observers. After learning the basics of how to use the equipment, they take part in professional scientific observations which, for the last two years, been published in peer-reviewed journals. The students also learn how to reduce and interpret their data. Since its inception 108 students have completed the course, and many are now doing graduate studies in related fields in Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Honduras, Costa Rica, Chile, among others. The bonds of friendship and collaboration they formed at the school have aided in the creation of networking opportunities in social media sites. These links will aid them and their countries in the future.




Costa Rica

El Salvador









Capacity Building