Las Campanas Observations: Winter Solstice 2017

By: David Osip, LCO Associate Director

Winter is coming... 

...a little early in May this year with a strong storm front that delivered two years worth of rain in less than two days to La Serena along with a light blanket of snow across LCO.

Wonderful long nights have had observations interrupted by strong winds and high humidity on several occasions as well as already two overnight snowfalls before winter even officially begins at our favourite deep south astronomical outpost. Fortunately we can report excellent image quality and successful observing programs from facilities across the observatory.

Our fair summer was followed by a harsher fall with a 22 percent loss of observing time including full nights lost to wet (7 nights), wind (2 nights) and clouds (5 nights) as well as an additional 60 hours of weather related closures touching on almost every night in May.