Virtually cloudless, and with an altitude of 8,200 feet and many areas receiving less than an inch of rain annually, this barren, northern Chilean desert is simply one of the highest, driest regions on the planet. (Humidity amplifies horizon lighting and makes celestial objects look blurry.) The optimally clear skies have attracted big bucks from astronomical agencies worldwide; two of the three next-generation, monster ground telescopes are slated to begin operations here in the 2020s. In the meantime, visitors are welcome to camp out under the piercingly bright stars.
Credit: Adhemar Duro / Getty Images
Powered By ZergNet
Best Places to Live
Surf Towns, Reborn Cities, and Mountain Meccas Where Life is Good
Plus: Inside Climbing's Toughest Triumph
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Bill Nye's Life Advice
Sign up to receive the Men’s Journal newsletter and special offers from MJ and its marketing partners.