Calar Alto reaches for the stars

CALAR ALTO: Now part of a worldwide astronomy consortium Photo credit: Junta de Andalucia

ALMERIA’S Calar Alto observatory is now part of the OPTICON-RadioNet PILOT (ORP) network.
Until now there were two major networks for ground-based astronomy, explained the Max Planck Institute, which is based in Germany.
One, OPTICON, belonged to the optical area while the other, RadioNet, operated in the radio-wave field and both have now joined forces to create Europe’s largest ground-based network.
The French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) is coordinating the project, together with Cambridge University and the Max Planck Institute.
With funding of €15 million from the Horizon 2020 programme, the new project sets out to harmonise observational methods and equipment. Thanks to the wider range of facilities, the network will have access to twenty telescopes, including three at the Almeria observatory.
The Calar Alto German-Spanish Astronomical Centre, is located in Sierra de los Filabres, one of Europe’s least polluted sites, and was originally built in 1973.
Until 2018 the observatory was owned and jointly operated by the Max Planck Radio Astronomy Institute, based in Germany and the Andalucia Institute of Astrophysics in Granada.
In 2019 the Junta de Andalucia took over from the Max Planck Institute and the observatory now remains entirely in Spanish hands.


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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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