Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities

Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory (CAHA)

The CAHA is located at a height of 2,168 m in the Sierra de Los Filabres (Almería). It is managed by the German Max Planck Society and the CSIC, and is jointly operated by the Max Planck Astronomical Institute of Heidelberg and the Andalusia Institute of Astrophysics of Granada.

The Calar Alto Astronomical Centre is the second-largest astronomical site in the northern hemisphere, after Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, and is the most important of continental Europe. It offers excellent transport connections and simple, affordable, and reliable logistics. The observatory has three telescopes with respective apertures of 1.23, 2.2 and 3.5m. CAHA also hosts telescopes belonging to other institutions, such as a telescope with an aperture of 1.5m belonging to the OAN of Madrid, a Schmidt camera belonging to the Hamburg Observatory (Germany) and a robotic telescope measuring 60cm, belonging to the CAB-INTA of Madrid.

Main Characteristics

The telescopes have at their disposal a wide variety of astronomical instrumentation in the optical and near-infrared range, as well as direct image sensor cameras and spectrographs of low, high or very high resolution. There are also monitors to analyse quality of the night sky. These facilities are supplemented by clean rooms, electronic, mechanical, and computer workshops. Additionally, the observatory features an aluminizing system for large-scale astronomy mirrors (mirrors of up to 4 m) that offers aluminization services to the scientific community.


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