Carmenes project provides a non-hitchhiking guide to the galaxy

Jose Navarro

CALAR ALTO: Is there anyone out there?

THE Carmenes project at Calar Alto will be putting Almeria at the head of the astronomy world.
The observatory at Sierra de Los Filabres, which recently celebrated its 42nd anniversary, will boast a unique instrument – Carmenes– that does not exist anywhere else in the world.
Carmenes is the acronym for “Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exo-earths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectographs). In other words, it is a next-generation instrument that will be used by Spanish and German scientists looking for Earth-like planets.
It is now being assembled and should be ready for use by this October.
The project will be carried out over 600 nights and is due to finish in 2018 although depending on circumstances and the progress made, this could be extended until 2020 or even longer.

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