Which is the Best Country to Study Astronomy ?

To get closer to heaven but with your feet on the ground, we tell you what you need to know to study astronomy

For centuries the knowledge of the universe has been a true mystery for man, from its origin to its evolution and constant transformation. An enigma that has captivated different generations and from which discoveries are continually revealed; making it one of the careers of the future.

More and more young people choose to study Astronomy in Chile, whether for their fascination with the sky or the stars or for the different advances that this science allows in other areas of knowledge. Numerous astronomical discoveries have collaborated with the creation of technologies to cure diseases, improve transport or telecommunications, for example.

Why Students go to Chile for Astronomy ?

At the global level, Astronomy is becoming more relevant and generating more interest in young people. This is the case of María José Chávez Marambio, a 20-year-old Chilean who studies Astronomy at the University of Chile and dreams of knowing and investigating the universe. Thanks to La Carrera Especial, María José managed to get to know the Alma Observatory located in the Atacama Desert, Chile, which is positioned as one of the best in the world.

Together with Itziar De Gregorio, a 39-year-old Spaniard who works as an astronomer in the scientific operations department of the Alma Observatory, María José travels daily to the center’s astronomers and approaches her future profession. Although she already knows, Alma will confirm that to be a great astronomer she needs to specialize after graduation with a master’s degree and even a doctorate, which will help her to develop as a professional and achieve the employment of her dreams.

In Alma, observations and measurements are carried out that involves a lot of work but are rewarded with wonderful images of astronomical phenomena that could never before be captured with this quality of the image . Also, studies are done for different parts of the world that do their research based on the measurements made by Alma experts.

Astronomy in Chile

In recent years, Chile has positioned itself as one of the best countries in the world to study and practice Astronomy. The collaboration of various international organizations has led to the installation of hundreds of study centers and observatories dedicated specifically to the investigation of the cosmos; which translates into a highly attractive educational and work offer in the sector.
The UNESCO decided to declare the skies of Antofagasta with certified Starlight, which consecrates as one of the best places in the world for astronomical observation.

Experts point out that thanks to its location and climatic conditions, Chile is the best country in South America to do Astronomy, and possibly the best in the world. The nights of clear skies and the density of the atmosphere make it a great astronomical pole that grows at a great speed and promises to collaborate with the evolution of the country in different areas.

Initially, the investments came from foreign companies interested in the matter, but Chile has now proposed to emphasize its support for this discipline through the contribution of new technologies. More and more Chilean companies are dedicated to the manufacture of the tools and programs that the observatories need, thus guaranteeing a new source of employment for the country.
Therefore, the offer of education at university level should take advantage of this situation to modernize, something that has already done. From degrees to doctorates, most of them taught by the University of Chile, they have quickly become the center of attention of hundreds of students, who until now saw as far away from the possibility of studying the universe in their country.

The Degree in Sciences with a mention in Astronomy of the University of Chile dictates in its Faculty of Physical Sciences and Mathematics and has a duration of 8 academic semesters. The Master of Science with a mention in Astronomy of the UC is taught in the same faculty but has a duration of 4 semesters, in which the student will take different courses and research workshops and then prepare a thesis that allows him to pass the Master.

In addition, the University of Chile offers a Doctorate in Sciences with a special mention in Astronomy that welcomes candidates of all nationalities and lasts eight semesters which includes the possibility of an internship at Yale University.

Astronomy in Spain

In Spain, there are several universities that offer training courses in Astronomy, some of which include specializations such as Astrobiology or Astrophysics. Many of them also offer scholarship programs and grants to study such studies, as well as institutions such as the Spanish Society of Astronomy that brings together the national and international offer of scholarships in careers linked to the study of the cosmos.

According to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings, the best Spanish universities to study Physics and Astronomy are the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.

The Canary Islands also received UNESCO’s Starlight recognition, so this is another interesting Spanish destination for those interested in studying the cosmos. The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) teaches a doctorate in cooperation with the University of the Laguna (ULL) and different training options that add to the varied list of studies in Astronomy offered by Spanish educational centers.

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