Programmer, Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), Chile

This is a fulltime position based at LCO, Chile.  

The Carnegie Observatories, a department of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a non-profit, world-class astronomical institution with offices located in Pasadena, California, is seeking a programmer to work at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile. The Observatories operate the telescopes on behalf of a consortium of universities, as well as a suite of telescopes, 2.5 meter and smaller. The Las Campanas Observatory is located 160 km north of La Serena, Chile. The site is one of the finest on the planet in terms of natural seeing, enabling the Magellan telescopes to regularly achieve 0.5 arcsec FWHM image quality or better.


Job Description:

The Programmer will be tasked to develop, maintain, and document telescope computer control systems. A principle goal will be to lead a smooth transition from the currently robust telescope control systems written in Fortran and C++ and running on DOS to more modern systems. The duties of the programmer will include planning and executing this transition with minimal impact on operations. This will include direct production of code. The programmer will work closely with scientists, programmers and electronic engineers.

The position is based in La Serena, Chile. The responsibilities will be primarily at the Observatory requiring a shift of up to 8 days on site per two-week period, with flexibility for engineering.


  • An advanced degree in computer science, engineering, physics, or astronomy.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English.
  • Knowledge of Spanish is an asset.
  • Ability to work at 8,000 feet.

Application Process:

Carnegie is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

Complete job description is contained in this advertisement – no phone calls please. Email address for inquiries about job:

Only electronic applications submitted through our website will be considered. 

Thank you for submitting your application by clicking the "Apply Now" button below. 

Applicants are encouraged to apply by April 15, 2018, when application review will begin.
However, the position will remain open until filled.  Only select candidates who meet our requirements will be contacted.

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