From IAC via Manu Garcia: “The Instituo Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, the IAC”

Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

The universe around us.
Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.


Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

The IAC.

The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) is an internationalized Spanish research center and selected by the Spanish government as “Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence”.

It comprises:
Headquartered in La Laguna (Tenerife).
The Institute of Astrophysics is the headquarters of IAC and administrative basis of its International Observatories. Usual place of work of most of its staff, is a meeting place for the international astronomical community, research institute and technological development and training center for researchers, engineers and technicians. It is also a promoter of cultural diffusion core.

c / Milky Way s / n La Laguna on the island of Tenerife (Spain). The city of La Laguna is 9 km from the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the north of the island.


Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
C/ Vía Láctea, s/n
E38205 – La Laguna (Tenerife). España

Google map

General Register hours of opening: 9 to 14 h, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

Tel: 34 / 922 605 200
Fax: 34 / 922 605 210
E-mail addresses:

CALP (Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma) (Breña Baja, LA PALMA)
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

Apdo. Correos 50
C/ Cuesta de San José, s/n
San Antonio
38712 – Breña Baja (La Palma). España

The Center for Astrophysics in La Palma (CALP).
The Center for Astrophysics in La Palma (CALP) is another headquarters of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC). Facilities include an area offices and offices for astronomers and staff running the management of telescope facilities, a library, meeting rooms and conference computer and telecommunication facilities. Workshops, laboratories and warehouses allow users to maintenance and development of scientific instrumentation.
In the CALP, also they have their offices:
The Gran Telescopio Canarias.
The Magic Collaboration.

Supercomputer LaPalma, one of seven nodes of the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES)
The LaPalma supercomputer, one of the eight nodes belonging to the RES and financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), is located in the “Centro de Astrofísica de La Palma (CALP)”, in Breña Baja. The LaPalma supercomputer, along with four other “brother nodes”, is formed from older processors derived from the MareNostrum which were relocated during its last upgrade, and the node is coordinated from the BSC-CNS. The installation of the supercomputer at LaPalma was a strategic step whose objective is to boost the observation activities in the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos – above all through the incorporation of the Gran Telescope CANARIAS (GTC) – and in this way reinforce the telecommunication development on the island.

Observatorio del Teide.

Location: Tenerife (Canary Islands / Spain)
Extension: 50 hectares
Altitude: 2,390 m.
geographical coordinates:
Length: 16º 30 ’35 “West
Latitude: 28º 18′ 00 “North

Astrophysics in the Canaries began (in the early sixties) in the Observatory, in the Izaña (Tenerife), 2,390 m above sea level in a place where presenting the towns of La Orotava, Fasnia and Güímar: the first telescope to study zodiacal light, light scattered by interplanetary matter, began operating in 1964.

Its geographical location (between the solar observatories of East and West), combined with transparency and excellent astronomical quality of the sky, have contributed to the Observatorio del Teide is preferably reserve to study the Sun, concentrating on the best solar telescopes Europeans.

Residence of the Observatorio del Teide, in operation since January 1990, has a number of facilities (day and night bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, reception, lounges and games, garages, transformer station, generator and park panels solar), in order to provide a service to all scientific and linked to the Observatory that required technical personnel.

Among the outreach efforts made by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, for the astronomical knowledge to reach everyone, visits schools and organized groups Observatory. Teide Observatory already has a Visitor Center, resulting from the conversion of an empty dome, which is provided with elements for scientific publication. With a capacity of about forty people, it is used to explain to schoolchildren what constitutes an observatory, how telescopes and astronomy has importance for man work.

Observatorio del Teide (Tenerife), Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute
C / Milky Way, s / n, 38200 – La Laguna (Tenerife). Spain

Observatory image Roque de los muchachos.

Location: La Palma (Canary Islands / Spain)
Extension: 189 hectares
Altitude: 2,396 m.
GTC geographical coordinates:
Longitude: 17 ° 53 ’33 “West
Latitude: 28 ° 45 ’25 “North

In the Roque of the Boys (ORM) the edge of the National Park Caldera, 2,396 m. of altitude, in the municipality of Garafía (La Palma), you are one of the most comprehensive battery of telescopes world.

While this observatory is ideal for night observation, it is also for Solar Physics. The Observatory also attracts high-energy astrophysics.

Apart from scientific activities, the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands conducts numerous outreach efforts astronomical knowledge to reach all audiences. To do this, at certain times of the year, visits schools and groups organize their observatories, both the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and the Observatorio del Teide.

The ORM residence consists of a number of facilities (day and night bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, reception, lounges and games, etc.) in order to provide a service to all scientific and technical personnel linked to Observatory you need it.

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma)
PO 36
38712 Brena Baja, Isla de la Palma. Spain

Purpose of the IAC.
The aims of IAC are astrophysical research, development of scientific instruments linked to astronomy, training of research staff, administration Observatorio del Teide and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and dissemination of science.

The IAC is headquartered in La Laguna (Tenerife), which is the usual place of work of most of its scientific, technological and personnel support. Also in the headquarters facilities are concentrated to develop scientific instrumentation. The IAC also has another venue, the Center for Astrophysics in La Palma (CALP).

Administratively, the IAC is a public consortium composed of the Spanish State Administration, Public Administration of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, University of La Laguna and the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)

The participation of institutions of various countries in the Observatories is done through an International Scientific Committee (ICC). A Commission for Time Allocation (CAT) delivers the observation time corresponding to Spain in each of the telescopes in the Observatories of the IAC.

The exceptional quality of the sky of the Canaries for astronomical observation is protected by law. The IAC has a Technical Office for the Protection of Sky Quality (OTPC) which monitors the ongoing implementation of this law. It also has a scientific group that deals with continuous monitoring of the parameters that determine the quality of astronomical observatories IAC (Sky Quality Group).

The IAC Research Program includes projects both astrophysical research and technological development. Among the activities of the IAC is also the training of researchers, university teaching and cultural diffusion. The IAC has devoted great efforts to the technological development for the design and construction of a large telescope 10.4 meters in diameter (Gran Telescopio Canarias, GTC), which is located at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

The Results Transfer Office (TTO) of the IAC, created under the National R + D, has been a pioneer within the National Network OTRI office.

To learn more about the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands visit IAC

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The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).
The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC