Studying the atmosphere of Pluto from Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, a young astronomer contemplates isolation, personal loss, and a life of wandering.
We drove four hours inland on a road veiled in sand to reach Las Campanas observatory. Shanty villages lined the highway, built around whatever water sources could be found.
Photo By Jessie Hart
That first night in Las Campanas, the fog on the mountain persisted until morning, and we collected no data. I walked back to my room in the gray of early morning burdened with José’s stories—stunned, weary, bumping shoulders with the moon.