Las Campanas Observatory (LCO of the Carnegie Institution for Science Observatories) – a world-class astronomical institution – has an opening for a telescope operator position to work on the two 6,5 meter Magellan telescopes. The successful candidate will be responsible for night-time operation of all systems of the Magellan telescopes including the initial diagnosis of telescope and instrument problems. The telescope operator is the Observatories primary nighttime interface to visiting astronomers. The successful candidate must have excellent interpersonal skills and excellent proficiency in written and spoken English. The telescope operator is responsible for writing a nightly and weekly report summarizing telescope activities.

Minimum requirements are: a degree in physics, astronomy, or engineering and computer expertise in the LINUX or MacOSX environments.

LCO offices and administrative headquarters are located in the city of La Serena, while the observatory facilities are located in the Andes mountains 160 km north of La Serena.

Observatory website:

Job Description:

The main duties of a TO are the safe and efficient night operations of the telescope and its subsystem, working closely with resident and visiting astronomers. He/she has the responsibility of taking decisions on starting or ceasing operations in case of bad weather or any hazardous condition.

The TO also has a key role in performing basic troubleshooting and communicating with the mountain staff in case of technical issues.

Additionally he/she writes daily and weekly reports on the operations of the telescope and related equipment, and is also expected to write documentation and operation procedures.

The normal work schedule is 7 nights in residence at the Observatory (2,300m) and 7 nights off.

Education required:

An advanced degree in astronomy, physics or engineering and/or equivalent experience in telescope operations for an astronomical observatory or similar scientific environment.

Skills required:

Computer expertise in Linux or Mac OSx environments.

Ability to communicate and cooperate in a team environment and to speak and write effectively, including technical reports and protocol documents. Fluency in written and spoken English.

Knowledge of basic programming is desirable.

Valid driver’s license.

Ability to work at 2,300 m.

Application review will begin on November 1st, 2019, and continue until the position is filled.

For more information and a link to apply, visit: