Chile, because of its atmospheric conditions, has a privileged position in astronomical matters. Currently, our country accounts for 40% of the world’s astronomical observation capacity and by 2024 that percentage is expected to rise up to 70% thanks to new and revolutionary telescopes like the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST.) These advances need the development of new algorithms and smart software to analyze all the information, and the interdisciplinary collaboration between astronomers, mathematicians and statistical engineers.

The Millennium Institute of Astrophysics MAS was created to prepare the new generation of researchers for the Big Data era, gathering a multidisciplinary team of researchers and students from prestigious Chilean Universities and an extensive world-wide collaborative network.

MAS’ main goals are to conduct massive and large-scale surveys; to develop efficient data analysis techniques crucial to extract relevant information from large data sets; to participate in programs for the construction of instruments and in programs for our country’s insertion in the world of state-of-the-art technologies related to astronomy; and to develop cutting-edge research in astrophysics, making the most of a new dimension in the Human space exploration: The Time-Domain. MAS’ work is divided into three research lines: Discovery and characterization of supernovae and their use as distance indicators; the milky way and the local group; transients, variables and planets; and astrostatistics & astroinformatics.

Main Achievements

  • Discovery of cosmic explosion that would be the most luminous supernovae discovered so far.
  • Discovery of Milky Way’s hidden feature.
  • Detection of magnetar in gamma ray bursts for the first time.
  • Detection of binary systems in RR Lyrae Stars.
  • Discovery of a star that escapes black hole with minor damage.
  • Discovery of the farthest galaxy ever seen.
  • Detection of water vapor on Neptune-size exoplanet for the first time.
  • Discovery of the largest rocky planet ever found.
  • Real-time observation of supernovae.
  • Development of algorithms to detect anomalous light-curves in astronomical catalogs
  • Development of periodic light-curve processing pipeline.

Director: Manuela Zoccali

Deputy Director: Dante Minniti