Las Campanas

The GMT will be built on a peak in the Andes mountains at 8,500 feet near several existing telescope facilities.

The GMT will be built on a peak in the Andes Mountains at 8,500 feet near several existing telescope facilities at Las Campanas, Chile. The Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) location was selected for its high altitude, dry climate, dark skies, and unsurpassed seeing quality, as well as its access to the southern sky. Las Campanas Peak ("Cerro Las Campanas"), one of many peaks within LCO, has an altitude of over 2,550 meters (approximately 8,500 feet).

The GMT project is in the fortunate position of having clear access to an already developed site: road access, water, electrical power and communications are already in place. The site has a long history of excellent performance. Light pollution is negligible and likely to remain so for decades to come. The weather pattern has been stable for more than 30 years. There are also many interesting objects that are primarily visible from the southern hemisphere such as the large and small Magellanic clouds, which are our closest neighboring galaxies, and our own galactic center.

More Information on the Las Campanas site:



Site Characterization Presentation


GMT Site Evaluation and Characterization at LCO
(SPIE Conf. 7012-65)


Two campaigns to compare three turbulence profiling techniques at LCO (SPIE Conf. 7014-196)


Calibration of the relationship between precipitable water vapor and 225 GHz atmospheric opacity via optical echelle spectroscopy at LCO (PASP, 119, 687)


Comparison of precipitable water vapour measurements made with an optical echelle spectrograph and an infrared radiometer at LCO (SPIE 7014-57)