Professional Support

QuasarChile’s co-founder is the Chilean astronomer Dr. Luis E. Campusano, PhD, who knows the North of Chile very well. He also enjoys communicating his passion for the study of both the sky and universe. Mr. Sebastian N. Campusano, who has worked for several years as a guide for adventure tourism in the Chilean and Bolivian highland, is the Operations Manager for the company. Dr. Robert J. Havlen, PhD is consultant for QuasarChile in the U.S.A. Under the direction of experienced professionals, QuasarChile prides itself on reliable service and attention to the individual needs of its passengers.

 

Dr. Luis E. Campusano, PhD

mr_luis_campusanoLuis is a native of Antofagasta, the largest city in the Atacama desert region. It is from this region that he did his first naked eye observations of the Milky Way and of some other prominent objects in the southern sky, at a time well before any astronomy installations such as the Very Large Telescope or the ALMA radio-telescope were dreamed of for this region of Chile. Once at the School of Engineering and Science of the University of Chile in Santiago, he decided to join the then recently created Astronomy Program (BSc) partially triggered by the installation of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

His decision to actually pursue a career in astronomy was reaffirmed after 2 years as a reserach assistant at the European Southern Observatory in Santiago. A fellowship took him to the University of Paris, and after that he joined the faculty of the Astronomy Department of the University of Chile, where teaching and research on both galactic and extragalactic astronomy kept him busy for many years. Luis has also been active in the popularizaion of science, as author of two books and participant in a TV series about the Search for Life in the Universe for which he and other members of the team received a National TV Award. He has collaborated with colleagues in both North and South America and Europe and holds a degree in astrophysics from the University of Toulouse. His current research interests include the formation of quasars, the large scale structure of the universe, X-ray galaxy clusters, and gravitational lensing. Luis has worked for 3 decades at the University of Chile where he currently is a faculty member of the Astronomy Department; he also collaborates with the Chilean National Commission for Science and Technology, and belongs to several national and international professional societies.

Luis is one of the co-founders and partner of QuasarChile (QC). His dream is that QC, his “new baby”, serves not only Chile and those of you who want to visit Atacama and watch the depths of space through the clearest skies on the planet, but also makes you and us feel part of a peaceful and collaborative world community. I WISH YOU A HAPPY LANDING IN CHILE, ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRET TRAVEL DESTINATIONS !

Dr. Robert J. Havlen, PhD

havlenBob’s interest in astronomy was stimulated by Comets Arend-Roland and Mrkos in 1957 and the classic book “Making Your Own Telescope” by Allyn J. Thompson.

Studies in astrophysics at the University of Rochester and the University of Arizona broadened his celestial horizons and he accepted his first professional post in 1970 as Staff Astronomer at the European Southern Observatory based in Santiago, Chile.

While helping to develop the young observatory, Bob’s research interests focused on the luminous stars and spiral structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and the investigation of clusters of galaxies. At the same time he explored Chile’s unique geography to appreciate its outstanding southern skies and remotely beautiful landscapes. After more than seven years with ESO Bob returned to the US in academic/research astronomy as Lecturer at the University of Virginia where he enjoyed teaching and continued his research pursuits stimulated by numerous students and colleagues. In 1979 he entered the challenging world of astronomy management when he became Assistant to the Director at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, VA. For the next fourteen years at the NRAO, both in Virginia and in New Mexico at the Very Large Array, Bob was responsible various administrative tasks including telescope scheduling, research reporting, observatory staffing, research visitor services, and observatory education and public outreach.

From 1993 through 2000 Bob was Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the largest general membership, non-profit astronomy organization in the world. The organization’s numerous programs for professionals, amateurs and the public include: advancing astronomy education through newsletters, workshops, and the Project ASTRO teacher/astronomy partnership program; promoting public awareness of astronomy through Mercury Magazine, Annual Awards/Meetings, and a catalog of popular astronomy resource materials for teachers and amateurs; and supporting research through professional meetings and publications such as PASP and the long-standing Conference Proceedings and IAU Publications. ASP also partners with NASA to support education and public outreach for some of NASA’s major research missions. (see www.astrosociety.org )

After four careers in astronomy, Bob now enjoys retirement in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he follows recent developments in astronomy via the internet and is a Project ASTRO volunteer with local middle school teachers. He has seen five total solar eclipses and hopes to view several more while enjoying travel for his hobbies of astronomy, genealogy, oenology, skiing, and adventure travel. BON VOYAGE AND CLEAR SKIES !!

Mr. Sebastian N. Campusano

sebastianSebastian has lived in Santiago, Chile most of his life. His family has always valued the sciences, the development of modern Chile, and the value of international experiences and contacts. Early in his youth and following in his family’s traditions he developed a strong interest and appreciation for the Andes mountains which run the entire length of Chile and are a permanent view from most of its towns and cities.

With the aim of preserving Chile’s natural beauties and communicating them to others he studied Audio Visual and Television in school and also discovered that trekking and mountaineering enhanced his enjoyment of nature and the wonders of the night sky. He produced several videos and soon became employed in the tourism industry as a means of enhancing his experiences in the outdoors. For several years he was an expert guide for “Azimut 360”, a well-known adventure tourism agency, where he specialized in the Chilean/Bolivian Altiplano and the desert region surrounding San Pedro de Atacama. He has always been attracted to the San Pedro area because of its unique and unparalleled natural beauty, its unusual plant and animal life, and its incomparable starry night skies. During a 2-year stay in the region he pioneered the development of astronomy adventure tours using portable telescopes.

He and his astronomer father cofounded QuasarChile, which expands upon his earlier pioneering efforts and aims to serve the international community with high-quality tours and services for exploring the Atacama region and using portable telescopes to observe the night sky.

Sebastian has made extended visits to Montreal, Canada and Houston, Texas as part of his goal to learn more about international cultures beyond his own. In his spare time he enjoys listening to music, swimming, and meditation. He is also a self-taught computer hardware/software “expert”, who is often asked to help rescue his friends and colleagues from PC emergencies.