Calar Alto astronomical center
The Hispano-German astronomical observatory of Calar Alto is located in the Sierra de los Filabres north of the province of Almeria about 50 kilometers from the capital and is operated jointly by the Max-Planck Institute of astronomy in Heidelberg (Germany) and the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (CSIC) in Granada.
The Calar Alto, with 2,168 m of altitude is the highest peak of the Sierra de los Filabres, the climatic conditions are extremely good; scientists of the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (MPIA) investigated for years the astroclimatic conditions in high mountain regions in Mediterranean areas resulting in the most appropriate Almeria. The first step for the constitution of this center occurred in 1972, through an agreement between the governments of Spain and the Federal Republic of Germany. At present, the CAHA is administered jointly by the MPIA and the Spanish National Commission of Astronomy.
The company Max Planck has installed 4 telescopes in the CAHA, one of 3.5 m, one of 2.2 m, another of 1.23 m and a Schmidt camera of 80 cm opening. The National Astronomical Observatory of Spain installed a 1.5 m telescope in 1977 at the same Astronomical Center. The telescopes are equipped with the most advanced instrumentation for the realization of astronomical observations: spectrospheres for different ranges of wavelengths, CCD cameras for optical observations and cameras for infrared observations. Spanish astronomers have a minimum of 10% observation with these telescopes. Along with the 5 buildings for the telescopes, the CAHA houses a building for the analysis of observations with work sites and workshops, a service park and buildings with housing.