Contest #457: Llano del Hato observatory, Venezuela

Eloy Cano submitted this location as a possibility for Contest #450, and it seemed like a great choice.

The Llano del Hato National Astronomical Observatory (Spanish: OAN de Llano del Hato, or Observatorio Astronómico Nacional de Llano del Hato) is an astronomical observatory in Venezuela (IAU code 303). It is 3600 meters above sea level and is the country’s main observatory. It is situated above the village of Llano del Hato in the Venezuelan Andes, not far from Apartaderos which lies about 50 kilometers north-east of Mérida, Mérida State.

It is the closest observatory to the Equator, allowing it to observe most of the skies to the north and south. It benefits from a very dark site, and its altitude of 3,600 meters (12,000 feet) above sea level means atmospheric turbulence is greatly reduced.

Those who found the spot without a telescope:

  • Eloy Cano
  • Glenmorren
  • Garfield
  • Lighthouse
  • Phil Ower
  • hhgygy

And with some astronomical guidance:

  • marisa boraas