Chilean authorities find body of missing British astronomer

FILE PHOTO: La Silla European Southern Observatory (ESO) is seen at Coquimbo

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean authorities on Thursday said they found the body of a British astronomer who went missing in mid-September at an observatory in the north of the country, where he had arrived for a scientific research visit.

Authorities conducted an extensive search for Thomas Marsh, of the University of Warwick, across a vast area of the La Silla observatory, located in an arid, mountainous area 600 kilometers (373 miles) north of Chile's capital, Santiago.

"After an intense search by a multidisciplinary team police officers (...) found the lifeless body of an astronomer missing since September 16," the police unit in the northern region of Coquimbo said on its Twitter account.

Authorities did not mention a cause of death.

The La Silla observatory is located on the southern edge of the Atacama Desert, about 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) above sea level. Northern Chile is a global hub for astronomical observation due to the quality of its skies.

(Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Editing by Bill Berkrot)