ABOUT THE HISPANIC ASTRONOMICAL CENTER IN ANDALUSIA
The Hispanic Astronomical Center in Andalusia (CAHA), also known as the Calar Alto Observatory, is the largest astronomical observatory in the European continent, located in Calar Alto, a plateau 2168 m high in the Sierra de Filabres, in the province of Almería, Spain.
Founded in 1973 following an agreement between the German and Spanish governments, the observatory has five telescopes with different apertures and optical systems, with the 3.5 m telescope being the largest telescope on the European continent. The observatory is jointly operated by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia - CSIC and the Andalusian Government since 2019 and conducts cutting-edge scientific research in various fields of astronomy, such as the search for exoplanets, star formation, galactic structure, and cosmology.
Research and projects
To observe in Calar Alto,
The largest observatory in Europe, you must request observation time on one of its two main telescopes, the 2.2 m or the 3.5 m. You must be affiliated with a Spanish institution or apply through OPTICON ORP if you are from another European country. You can also purchase observation time if you have a very strong scientific case.
You must choose the observation mode: visitor or service. In the visitor mode, you travel to the observatory and operate the telescope. In the service mode, the observatory staff makes the observations for you. You must select the instrument, mode, and filters you want to use for each telescope, among those offered by the observatory on its website.
Visit the Observatory
Spain is a global power in the production of scientific knowledge in the disciplines of astronomy and astrophysics, and the Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory, the largest complex of its kind in continental Europe, has been largely responsible for this over its 50 years of existence.
During the Daytime Visit to the Observatory, you will have the opportunity to learn in an enjoyable and entertaining way how this Scientific and Technical Singular Infrastructure (ICTS) works. From this cathedral of science, we will tell you about the discoveries that are made with these giant telescopes, as well as the relationship between the technological development necessary to expand our knowledge of the Universe and the domestic applications of this technology in our daily lives. And all this while you contemplate the 240 tons of the 3.5m telescope, the largest on the continent! The approximate duration of the visit is 2 hours and it is guided by qualified personnel with scientific training.More