The European Space Agency (ESA) will search for potentially dangerous objects from Calar Alto

portadaJanuary 15th 2016

ESA and Calar Alto have signed a collaboration agreement for the exclusive remote use of the 80 cm. Schmidt Telescope.

NEOs (Near Earth Objects) are comets or asteroids which their orbits, possibly modified by gravitational pull of planets, lead them to regions near to the Earth orbit. Although possibilities of an impact against the Earth are very reduced, the scientific community are developing programs for detecting and studying such objects. Calar Alto Observatory (CAHA, MPG/CSIC) has signed an agreement with European Space Agency (ESA) for the exclusive use of one of its telescopes in ESA’s NEOs detection campaign.

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First Successful Tests of New Planet Hunter “CARMENES”

17/12/2015. CARMENES, an outstanding novel astronomical instrument, which has been designed to look for Earth-like planets, has successfully passed first “on-sky” tests at the telescope. Scientist and engineers of Calar Alto Observatory have participated in the design and construction of the new “planet hunter”. After five years of preparation, the highly complex instrument was for the first time used in November at the 3.5m telescope of the Calar Alto Observatory near Almería in southern Spain, which is operated jointly by the Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). CARMENES has been designed and built by a large international consortium of eleven institutions in Germany and Spain. The instrument consists of two spectrographs to analyze the visible and the infrared light coming from celestial bodies. Both have been optimized for the discovery of planets orbiting nearby stars. Thus, observations with CARMENES will be an important milestone for one of the most exciting areas of space exploration - the search for a second Earth.

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UPDATE: "Halloween pumpkin" video and images from Calar Alto

PortadaThis is an update from previous new. As told yesterday, an international group of researchers have observed the 2015TB145 NEO, also known as "The great Halloween pumpkin" with the 1.23m telescope and with PMAS instrument at 3.5m telescope. Here you have images and the video of the observations.

The image on the left shows the asteroid. If you click below on the "read more" button, you'll have access to a complete video.

 

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A group of researchers will observe "The great Halloween pumpkin" from Calar Alto tonight

Orbit-of-2015-TB145

The nights of October 30th and 31st are the best opportunity for studying this asteroid, which characteristics points that it could be an extinct comet.

The asteroid, with 400 meters wide, will be at about 480.000 km from Earth at its closest approach.

 

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Infrared ‘eye’ arrival completes CARMENES instrument, which will see its first light in November

nir1CARMENES, a spectrograph that will search for earth-like planets, is a unique instrument due to its stability, very high resolution and because it will observe at the same time in both the visible and infrared channels.

The infrared channel, developed at the Instituto de Astronfísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), will be tomorrow placed in its final location, at the 3.5m Calar Alto Observatory telescope.

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Calar Alto Observatory in the European Night of the researchers

portada

As it happened in 2014, Calar Alto Observatory has participated on the European Night of the researchers that took place last September 25, 2015.This year the participation consisted in two activities held in the Junta de Andalucía's Govern Delegation in Almería.

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What is a lunar eclipse good for?

eluna

- The moon darkens considerably during eclipses, which offers a unique opportunity for observing impacts against its surface.

- Researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)  have programmed moon observations from different places in order to detect and study impacts on the moon during next September 28th eclipse.

- The most sophisticated observations will be carried out from the Calar Alto Observatory 3.5m Telescope.

 

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