7 February 2017 | Calar Alto

Calar Alto Alfredo Madrigal

Image credit & copyright: Alfredo Madrigal | Click image to enlarge

Image Data
  • Date: January 2017
  • Location: Bacares, Andalusia, Spain
  • Camera: Nikon D750
  • Optics: 16-28mm
  • Exposure: 20s, f/2.8, 16mm, ISO 6400

In this picture, made by Alfredo Madrigal from Spain, we see the constellation of Orion rising above the 3.5 meter telescope of the Calar Alto Observatory.

The German-Spanish Astronomical Center at Calar Alto is located in the Sierra de Los Filabres (Andalucía, Southern Spain) north of Almeria.

It is operated jointly by the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC) in Granada/Spain. Calar Alto operates three telescopes with apertures of 1.23m, 2.2m and 3.5m. A 1.5m-telescope, also located on the mountain, is operated under the control of the Observatory of Madrid.

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 minor planet 189202 Calar Alto, discovered by Felix Hormuth at Starkenburg Observatory in 2003, was named in honor of the observatory site.

The bright bluish star that is seen through the clouds is the brightest star in the Earth’s night sky: Sirius.

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