The European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.
The Institute for Astronomy of the Universidad Católica del Norte (IA-UCN) has an agreement with ESO, the European Southern Observatory, on the use of the 1m telescope on La Silla Observatory. ESO funds and supports the activities of the centro de divulgacion astronomica Paranal-UCN.
Since 1997 IAUCN has a partnership with the Astronomical Institute of the Ruhr-University in Bochum (AIRUB). Both universities built and operate the Bochum-UCN observatory close to Cerro Armazones, where UCN holds a timeshare of 30% on these telescopes. The research at AIRUB focusses on high-mass star formation and active galactic nuclei, with a particular emphasis on monitoring projects that can be accomplished with the telescopes at the Bochum-UCN observatory.
Apart from the common scientific activities both universities started collaboration in education. Master students from UCN were supervised by professors in Bochum and stayed at AIRUB to finalize their theses. In the near future a joint PhD program between the physics departments of both the Ruhr University in Bochum and UCN will be started. Until this program will be accredited by the Chilean ministry of education PhD students from UCN have the opportunity to obtain their degree at AIRUB.