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Light pollution threatens Chile's dark skies
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
It seems nothing can escape the inexorable spread of light pollution -- not even the giant telescopes probing the heavens above northern Chile, a region whose pristine dark skies, long considered a paradise for astronomers, are under increasing threat. The Atacama desert, 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) north of the capital Santiago, provides ideal conditions where astronomers study the stars in darkness so profound they appear like diamonds on velvet. Scientists estimate that by 2020, Chile -- a critically important country for optical and radio astronomy -- will host 70 percent of the globe's astronomical infrastructure. read more
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