On computer names and M dwarf discoverers

logo carmenesWe start a series of short pieces of news related to the imminent arrival to Calar Alto of CARMENES, the new Observatory’s exoplanet hunter. In plain English, it is a “machine to discover planets like our Earth around the most abundant (and, also, the closest, smallest and coolest) stars”.  



Observers find two stars so close together that they will end up by merging into 1 very massive star

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A study of the binary system “MY Camelopardalis” published in the journalAstronomy & Astrophysics, shows that the most massive stars are formed by the merging of other smaller stars, as theoretical models predicted. 



An unprecedented view of two hundred galaxies of the local Universe


The second data release of the international project CALIFA - a survey of galaxies carried out at Calar Alto observatory – will take place today.

Performed at Calar Alto, CALIFA reaffirms to Calar Alto as a very competitive worldwide astronomical facility and highly productive.



Calar Alto Observatory on the Night of the Researchers


Calar Alto Observatory took part on the European Night of the Researches with a roundtable and an exposition of anaglyph (3D images) showing the constellations, in collaboration with the Instituto Astrofísico de Andalucía (CSIC) and the Asociación de Amigos de Calar Alto.  




New Fireball Detection Station and related web page

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Since July 2014, Calar Alto Observatory has a fireball detection station which is composed by five high sensitivity CCD cameras. These devices are monitoring the firmament during the whole night and allow automatic identification of meteoroids entering into our atmosphere. These meteoroids are falling material fragments from asteroids, comets or even other planets. 

The systems installed at Calar Alto for the analysis of these interplanetary matter are part of the SMART project, developed under the scientific direction of Prof. José María Madiedo (Universidad de Huelva) in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC).

By clicking here you will go to the web page containing all the objects observed with this new system and with Calar Alto external surveillance webcams. That web page will be upgrade as soon as new fireballs are detected.



First planet confirmed from the Calar Alto Observatory




An exoplanet is confirmed for the first time using an instrument built by the Calar Alto Observatory. It is the first planet orbiting a giant star whose confirmation is beyond any doubt.

The planetary nature of an object orbiting the giant star KIC 8219268 has been confirmed by using the radial velocity technique and the Calar Alto Fiber-fed Echelle spectrograph (CAFE), the first instrument built by the Spanish-German Astronomical Center, in Almería, Spain. Researchers from the Center of Astrobiology (CAB, INTA-CSIC), the Max-Planck Institut für Astronomy (MPIA, MPG), Centro de Astrofisica e Departamento de Física e Astronomia (Universidade do Porto), Instituto de Astronomía (UNAM) and from Calar Alto (CAHA), in Spain, Germany, Portugal and Mexico have applied this well understood methodology and have obtained a mass similar to Jupiter. The planet, named Kepler-91b, is located extremely close to the star. This is the first planet ever confirmed based on data acquired from Calar Alto Observatory.



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