MOPM 2017 will be held in Santa Maria Tonantzintla, San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, México, at the Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Óptica y Electrónica – INAOE (National Institute for Astrophysics Optics and Electronics).
The INAOE campus is located at Calle Luis Enrique Erro 1. The talks will take place in the “Luis Enrique Erro” Information Center, about 30 meters from the campus’ main gates. The 340-seat auditorium is on the ground floor of the building, which is easy to identify. With its distinctive dome, it resembles an observatory.
The Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Óptica y Electrónica – INAOE is part of a network of 27 highly specialized research centers overseen by the Mexican Research Council CONACYT. INAOE’s history dates back to 1942, when Luis Enrique Erro founded the Observatorio Astrofísico Nacional de Tonantzintla (National Astrophysics Observatory at Tonantzintla) on the outskirts of Puebla, in the very spot where the INAOE campus is found today. At the time, Tonantzintla, was an ideal choice for an observatory because of its clear night skies and its strategic geographic location. As Puebla grew, though, the lights from the city hampered observations at the old observatory. As a result, two other observatories have since been built. Both are now a part of INAOE but they are not located in campus. INAOE was formally founded in 1971 by a presidential decree incorporating the new departments of Optics and Electronics. A Computer Sciences department was added in 1998. Research has continued to diversify over the years, making INAOE one of the strongest research institutions in Mexico today. The CONACYT network of research centers is second only to the National Autonomous University of Mexico in terms of research productivity in Mexico. By itself, INAOE is often ranked among the top research institutions in the country. Currently, across the four departments, INAOE is home to 141 faculty researchers, about 350 PhD and MSc students (INAOE does not offer undergraduate programs), and more than 500 visiting students. Over 85 percent of the institute’s faculty have been distinguished by the National System of Researchers (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores – SNI), a program sponsored by the Mexican government that has become a de facto standard for quality of research.
The on-campus Schmidt telescope. This is the original national observatory.