Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics (IAC)

The Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics has two observatories in the Canary archipelago: the Teide Observatory in Tenerife and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma.

These two astronomical observatories of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics are located in the two most privileged places for astronomical observation. In fact, modern astronomy in the Canary Islands has its beginnings in the Teide National Park and the 19th-century astronomical expeditions of Charles Piazzi Smyth.

What is the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics and what does it do

Also known by its acronym IAC, the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics is a Spanish—although internationalised—research centre, which has been selected by the Spanish government as a “Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence”.

The Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics consists of a central office in San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Tenerife, a centre for astrophysics (CALP) in La Palma, and two observatories: the Teide Observatory in the area of Izaña, Tenerife, and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in Garafía, La Palma.

The Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics is dedicated to:

  • Astrophysical research
  • The development of astronomy-related scientific instruments
  • The training of research personnel in astrophysics
  • Management of the Teide Observatory in Tenerife and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma
  • Science popularisation
Visit the Teide Observatory with expert guides

The Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics and the quality of the sky

Did you know that the sky of the Canary Islands has an exceptional quality for astronomical observation?

In fact, the sky of the Canary Islands is protected by the Sky Act (Law for the Protection of the Astronomical Quality of the IAC Observatories); a law that provides four essential aspects for quality astronomical observations: light pollution, radio spectrum pollution, air pollution, and air routes.

Following the Sky Act, that entered into force in 1992, the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics has a Technical Office for the Protection of the Quality of the Sky, which is responsible for monitoring of the systematic compliance with the Sky Act.

Also, the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics has a Sky Quality Group; a scientific group which is responsible for continuous monitoring of the key parameters provided for the astronomical quality of the observatories of the Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics.

If you are in Tenerife and astrophysics and astronomy are your passions, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Teide Observatory, managed by the IAC, on one of the guided visits of the world's largest solar observatory.

Canary Islands Institute of Astrophysics

Visit the world’s largest solar observatory in Tenerife

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