Its clear and clear skies, the hills of the Andes Mountains and especially the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, are the best places worldwide to install an astronomical observatory. It is logical to say that in this place there are several of the best and largest observatories in the world. ESO, European Southern Observatory, which is funded by 14 European countries and is the most important astronomical research institution in Europe has an operations center installed in Chile. Both the University of Heidelberg and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC) develop a wide range of activities in the field of astronomy. Both institutions belong, in their environment, to the leading groups in astronomical research and the training of scientists.
For many of Heidelberg's astronomers, observations with telescopes in Chile are an essential basis for their work. Even the Landessternwarte Heidelberg (ZAH - Zentrum für Astronomie) manufactures instruments used in Chile. Given their "host" status, Chilean astronomers have 10% of the observation time on all international telescopes located in Chile. Therefore, over the past years, a number of Chilean universities have considerably expanded their activities in astronomy, becoming one of the priorities of science in Chile.
The objectives of the cooperation between the University of Heidelberg and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, are the recruitment and training of especially talented doctoral students, as well as the joint realization of scientific and technological projects at the highest level. The astronomy program has the cooperation of the House of Astronomy of Heidelberg (Haus der Astronomie) The focus of his astronomical education and public relations work focuses on the development of materials and on specific events such as workshops or conference series.
The house of Astronomy of Heidelberg grants each year a number of middle and basic professors for a stay in their institution: More information here