Las Campanas Observatory: past, present and future

The Las Campanas Observatory owned by the Carnegie Institution for Science has been established in Chile in 1969. Two telescopes were commissioned in the 1970s. The Swope 1-meter which began observations in 1971 and the duPont 2.5-meter that started in 1977. Both telescopes are still routinely used by Carnegie astronomers and international collaborations. At the beginning of the 2000s the Carnegie Institution, University of Arizona, Harvard University, University of Michigan and Massachusetts Institute of technology put in operation the twin 6.5 meter Magellan telescopes. With their excellent optical performances and the superb seeing condition the Magellan telescopes are being recognized among the best ground based astronomical observing facilities. The success of the that project inspired the construction of the 25 meter Giant Magellan Telescope which is expected to see first light in 2024. In my talk I will report on the current and future capabilities of the observatory and present my research activity on close binary stars and active galactic nuclei.