Calar Alto Observatory

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Calar Alto Observatory
Organization Max Planck Institute for Astronomy,
Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia
Location Almería, Spain
Coordinates 37°13′25″N 2°32′46″W / 37.22361°N 2.54611°W / 37.22361; -2.54611
Altitude 2,168 m (7,113 ft)
telescope 3.5 m reflector 37°13′15″N 2°32′49″W / 37.220791°N 2.5468465°W / 37.220791; -2.5468465
telescope 2.2 m reflector 37°13′23″N 2°32′46″W / 37.2231427°N 2.5461943°W / 37.2231427; -2.5461943
telescope 1.5 m reflector 37°13′30″N 2°32′55″W / 37.2249718°N 2.5484985°W / 37.2249718; -2.5484985
telescope 1.23 m reflector 37°13′23″N 2°32′52″W / 37.223074°N 2.5476775°W / 37.223074; -2.5476775
telescope 0.8 m Schmidt reflector 37°13′26″N 2°32′54″W / 37.223927°N 2.5483678°W / 37.223927; -2.5483678
Asteroids discovered: 4
(63429) 2001 MH5 June 21, 2001
(94223) 2001 BU53 January 17, 2001
(99258) 2001 MF5 June 21, 2001
(124143) 2001 ME5 June 21, 2001

The Calar Alto Observatory (Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán or Deutsch-Spanisches Astronomisches Zentrum, respectively "Spanish–German Astronomical Centre" and "German–Spanish Astronomical Centre") is an astronomical observatory owned and operated jointly by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia – CSIC) in Granada, Spain. It is located in Almería province in Spain on Calar Alto, a 2,168-meter-high (7,113 ft) mountain in Sierra de Los Filabres.

The 3.5-meter telescope is the largest telescope in mainland Europe, though there are three larger telescopes on the Spanish island of La Palma at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory.


The site was proposed in 1970, and was officially opened in July 1975 with the commissioning of its 1.2-meter (47 in) telescope. The site developed due German and Spanish cooperation in astronomy. Eventually four more telescopes were commissioned.

The Schmidt telescope was moved to Calar Alto in 1976 from the Hamburg Observatory at Bergedorf, where it had been completed in 1954. It was decommissioned in 2000.


2.2 meter at Calar Alto

The Max-Planck institute owns a 3.5-meter (138-inch), 2.2 m (87 in), and a 1.23 m (48 in) telescope, and an 80 cm (31 in) Schmidt reflector. The 3.5-meter is the largest telescope on European soil with an Equatorial mount. There is also a 1.5 m (59 in) telescope that is owned and operated by the Spanish OAN.


The CALIFA Survey (Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey) is an astronomical project to map 600 galaxies with imaging spectroscopy (integral field spectroscopy (IFS)).[1]


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  • Hopp, U.; Graser, U. (1990). "Optical quality of the Calar Alto 3.5 m telescope". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 235: 543–548. Bibcode:1990A&A...235..543H. 
  • Bizenberger, Peter; McCaughrean, Mark J.; Birk, Christoph Birk; Thompson, Dave; Storz, Clemens (1998). "Omega Prime: the wide-field near-infrared camerea for the 3.5-m telescope of the Calar Alto observatory". Bibcode:1998SPIE.3354..825B. doi:10.1117/12.317219. 
  • Lenzen, Rainer; Bizenberger, Peter; Salm, Norbert; Storz, Clemens (1998). Bely, Pierre Y; Breckinridge, James B, eds. "Omega Cass: a new multimode NIR-imager/spectrometer for the Calar Alto Observatory". Space Telescopes and Instruments V. 3356: 493. Bibcode:1998SPIE.3354..493L. doi:10.1117/12.317275.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  • Bailer-Jones, Coryn A. L.; Bizenberger, Peter; Storz, Clemens (2000). "Achieving a wide field near infrared camera for the Calar Alto 3.5m telescope". Proc. SPIE. arXiv:astro-ph/0003072Freely accessible. Bibcode:2000SPIE.4008.1305B. doi:10.1117/23.395447. 
  • Hippler, Stefan; Kapser, Markus E.; Feldt, Markus; Weiss, Robert (2000). "ALFA: three years of experience in adaptive optics with a laser guide star". Proc. SPIE. 4007. Bibcode:2000SPIE.4007...41H. doi:10.1117/23.390397. 
  • Wolf, C.; Meisenheimer, K.; Röser, H. -J.; Beckwith, S. V. W.; Chaffee, F. H.; Fried, J.; Hippelein, H.; Huang, J. -S.; Kümmel, M.; Von Kuhlmann, B.; Maier, C.; Phleps, S.; Rix, H. -W.; Thommes, E.; Thompson, D. (2001). "Multi-color classification in the calar alto deep imaging survey". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 365 (3): 681. arXiv:astro-ph/0010604Freely accessible. Bibcode:2001A&A...365..681W. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20000064. 
  • Graser, U.; Hopp, U. (2001). "Pointing models for the Calar Alto 2.2 M and 3.5 M telescopes". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 251 (2): 737–742. Bibcode:1991A&A...251..737G. 
  • Baumeister, Harald; Bizenberger, Peter; Bayler-Jones, Coryn A. L.; Kovacz, Zoltan; Röser, Hermann-Josef (2003). "Cryogenic engineering for OMEGA2000: design and performance". Proc. SPIE. 4841. Bibcode:2003SPIE.4841..343B. doi:10.1117/23.461003. 
  • Ziad, A.; Gredel, R.; Aceituno, J.; Borgnino, J.; Hoyo, F.; Irbah, A.; Martin, F.; Thiele, U.; Pedraz, S. (2005). "A site-testing campaign at the Calar Alto Observatory with GSM and DIMM instruments". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 362 (2): 455. Bibcode:2005MNRAS.362..455Z. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09299.x. 
  • Sanchez, S. F.; Aceituno, J.; Thiele, U.; Perez-Ramirez, D.; Alves, J. (2007). "The night sky at the Calar Alto Observatory". Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 119 (860): 1186. arXiv:0709.0813Freely accessible. Bibcode:2007PASP..119.1186S. doi:10.1086/522378. JSTOR 10.1086/522378. 
  • Baumeister, H.; Alter, M.; Cárdenas Vázquez, M. C. N.; Fernandez, M.; Fried, J.; Helmling, J.; Huber, A.; Ibáñez Mengual, J. M.; Rodríguez Gómez, J. F.; Laun, W.; Lenzen, R.; Mall, U.; Naranjo, V.; Ramos, J. R.; Rohloff, R. R.; García Segura, A.; Storz, C.; Ubierna, M.; Wagner, K. (2008). "PANIC: the new panoramic NIR camera for Calar Alto". In McLean, Ian S; Casali, Mark M. Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy II. 7014. p. 70142R. doi:10.1117/12.788796. 
  • Sanchez, S. F.; Thiele, U.; Aceituno, J.; Cristobal, D.; Perea, J.; Alves, J. (2008). "The night sky at the Calar Alto Observatory II: The sky at the near-infrared". Publ. Astr. Soc. Pac. 120 (873): 1244. arXiv:0809.4988Freely accessible. Bibcode:2008PASP..120.1244S. doi:10.1086/593981. JSTOR 10.1086/593981. 
  • Quirrenbach; Amado; Mandel; Caballero; Ribas; Reiners; Mundt; Abril; Afonso (2009). "CARMENES: Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exo-earths with a Near-infrared Echelle Spectrograph". arXiv:0912.0561Freely accessible [astro-ph.SR]. 
  • Husemann, B.; jahnke, K.; Sanchez, S. F.; Berrado-Navscues, D. (2012). "CALIFA, the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area survey: II. First public data release". arXiv:1210.8150Freely accessible. 

See also[edit]


  1. "Calar Alto Observatory homepage". Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán. Retrieved December 12, 2005. 
  1. ^ S. F. Sánchez; et al. (February 2012). "CALIFA, the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area survey. I. Survey presentation". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 538 (id.A8): 31. arXiv:1111.0962Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012A&A...538A...8S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201117353. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°13′14.85″N 2°32′47.67″W / 37.2207917°N 2.5465750°W / 37.2207917; -2.5465750