Estación Astrofísica de Bosque Alegre
Midway between Alta Gracia and Villa Carlos Paz via a winding mountain road, protruding above the pines on a 1,250-meter hilltop, the Estación Astrofísica de Bosque Alegre is one of the main resources for Argentina’s small community of about 100 professional astronomers. Begun in 1928 but not opened until 1942, the observatory building measures 20 meters in diameter and 25 meters in height.
Within, it rotates a Pittsburgh-built 60-inch, 28-ton Warner & Swasey reflector telescope that dates from 1922; the instrument itself has undergone continual upgrades to the latest electronic instrumentation. Part of the provincial capital’s Observatorio Astronómico de Córdoba (Laprida 854, tel. 0351/433-1064, www.oac.uncor.edu, US$1.25), the Bosque Alegre facility is open for grad student–guided tours 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 4–7 p.m. daily in summer, during Semana Santa and July winter holidays, and on three-day weekends. The rest of the year, hours are 10 a.m.–1 p.m. and 3–6 p.m. daily.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition