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The Atacama desert in South America / Chile is the driest region in the world. 20 times more rain falls in the Sahara desert. There is a coast in the western part of this region and the coast is affected by cold streams from Antarctica. The eastern part is surrounded by rainforests. But all these situations cannot prevent this region from being the driest place in the world. Atacama has two situation that affect these features.
(*1) The waves of cold streams coming from Antarctica encounter hot air in this area on the Tropic of Capricorn (as the humid and hot air rising in the equator loses its moisture until it reaches here). The hot air forms a layer at the top of the coastline, preventing the fog clouds from reaching the inner parts of the desert.
(*2) The Andes Mountains, which are set between Atacama Desert and Rain forests, prevent the rain clouds that occur in the rain forests to pass to the desert side. The Atacama desert, which is a region free of fog / moisture / cloud, provides a very clear / cloudless sky thanks to this dry state and offers a unique observation opportunity for the sky.
(*) It is the starting point of the desert and the last point where the fog cloud reach. An observation and research unit which offers a unique experience is located here for amateur travelers who are interested in astrophotography and space observation.
Atacama Desert, Chile
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