The INCT is the high-level research institute for the study of astronomy and planetary sciences at the University of Atacama, under the direction of the Vice Rectorate for Research and Postgraduate Studies.


El INCT, whose official name is Instituto de Investigación en Astronomía y Ciencias Planetarias, aims to become a regional focal point in astronomy and geology at both national and international levels, by capitalizing on two abundant natural resources deeply connected to the Atacama Region, the unique clean sky conditions of the Atacama Desert, and the rich and diverse geology in this part of northern Chile.

The Atacama desert mountains are home to the largest and most technologically advanced telescopes in the world, taking advantage of the extreme dryness and dark clear skies to obtain the deepest and sharpest images of the universe.

The Atacama desert constitutes an optimal place for environmental research in planetary science and astrobiology, thanks to its unique conditions that are similar to those existing on other solid bodies of the Solar System.

The INCT generates and transmits relevant scientific knowledge through its activities in:


Participating in the national and international scientific community, through
reviewed publications in high-impact scientific journals, by attending relevant academic events and meetings, and by producing astronomical data and software open to the community.

Research lines
Scientific publications
Products (data and software)


To the student community, in particular to the students of our Ph.D. in Astronomy and Planetary Sciences, to whom we provide a high-level education that trains them as independent researchers, who will shape the next generations of astronomers and planetary scientists in Chile and the world. We also teach courses to various undergraduate courses at UDA, from basic astronomy to specialized interdisciplinary topics, with a view to even entering our doctoral program.

Astronomy and Planetary Sciences Ph.D.
Ph.D. students
Undergraduate courses


To the community of the Atacama region, schools in particular, through science outreach and dissemination activities. With the support of the Regional Associative Project EXPLORA Atacama and other local organizations, we raise awareness among the general public about the relevance of astronomy and planetary sciences in the development of human beings and society in general, and we keep them informed of the achievements in all the subjects we deal with.

PAR Explora Atacama
INCT Videos