Giant Magellan Telescope. (Image courtesy of GMTO Corporation.)

For decades, the Atacama Desert has beguiled astronomers and structural engineers alike. With its soaring mountain peaks and clear night skies, the Chilean desert is one of the top places in the world for studying the universe. There are over 300 clear nights per year in the Atacama, making it unmatched for stargazing. Unfortunately, Chile also rides the seismically hyperactive circum-Pacific belt, aka the “Ring of Fire,&rd…

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