I was visiting the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory from 6-7 Aug. It was awesome !

 Figure 1. Observatory the Roque de los Muchachos.

 

Gran Telescopio de Canarias.

 Figure 2. Gran Telescopio de Canarias.
Credit of picture: cguzman
 

 top left: Telescopio Nationale Galileo, top right: Gran Telescopio de Canarias, middle: MAGIC I and II. Credit of picture: cguzman

Figure 3. top left: Telescopio Nationale Galileo, top right: Gran Telescopio de Canarias, middle: MAGIC I and II.
Credit of picture: cguzman


Figure 4. Sunset in The Roque de los muchachos.
Credit of picture: cguzman

 

The Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) is one of the most complete telescope complexes in the world, thanks to the dark and clear skies it enjoys almost the whole year round. The Observatory was inaugurated in 1985 and is managed by the Canary Astrophysical Institute (IAC). It is atop the island La Palma at over 2400m above sea level, it has a  wide variety of telescopes that defines the importance of the ORM. The telescopes are identified by the size of the primary mirror (see Figure 4), as most of them work in a range from the optical to the infrared wavelenghts.

Spitzer Telescope Assembly

Figure 5. Spitzer Telescope Assembly.
Credit of picture: NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive 

Figure 6 shows the telescopes that are installed in ORM. The Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC) is the biggest in the world in this range and one of the most advanced. There are also other telescopes very unusual like the eye-catching MAGICs used for the study of energies (gamma rays). According to the International Agreements, Spain has the 20% of the observing time at its disposal for providing the place to install the telescopes.

Telescopes in the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory.

Figure 6. Telescopes in the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory.
Credit of picture: IAC

In my visit, I was first in the GTC. The primary mirror of the GTC has a diameter of 10,40 m.

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Figure 7. Inside of the Gran Telescopio de Canarias.
Credit of picture: cguzman

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Video 1. Inside of the Gran Telescopio de Canarias.
Credit: cguzman 

 

 Figure 8. From left to right, Jose Acosta, me and Anthony.
Credit of picture: cguzman

 

Figure 9. Sunset from the Gran Telescopio of Canarias.
Credit of picture: cguzman

I was in the GTC doing some science observations from 20.00 until 3.30. There were two operators, Peter and Daniel. Peter is an astronomer and Daniel was helping Peter during the observations. Due it is a night-work, it is so difficult to be awake. Thus, from 00.00 to 00.27 I was sleeping in the living room. Then, I wake up to continue with some more science observations and questions. I really appreciate the time of Peter and Daniel, they are great guys !

Figure 10. Doing some science observations in the Gran Telescopio of Canarias.
Credit of picture: cguzman 

The next day ( 7 Aug ), I wake up at 8.00 took a shower and I ate the breakfast, which I lost hours later while I was coming down the mountain. At 9.00, I decide to walk around and take some pictures. It is so incredible that anyone can go to the ORM and walk around. It is not so restrictive as Izaña in Tenerife.

Video 2. Walking around the residence.
Credit: cguzman 

 

 

I visit the MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov) I and II. It is a system of two 17 m diameter, F/1.03 Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACT). They work at night and are dedicated to the observation of gamma rays from galactic and extragalactic sources in the very high energy range (VHE, 30 GeV to 100 TeV). Like a tragic story, the principal investigator died a night before the inauguration of those telescopes. He was performing some preliminary fixing in the platform of the telescope when he stumbled and fell down. During my visit to MAGIC, I meet two tourist guys. They were also amazed.

Reflecting me in MAGIC I & II

Figure 11. Reflecting me in MAGIC I & II.
Credit of picture: cguzman 

The big MAGIC I & II

Figure 12. The big MAGIC I & II.
Credit of picture: cguzman 

 

I came back to the resident at 11.00. I was waiting from my friends Anthony and José Acosta. Then, at 12.00 we drove in order to visit two more telescopes, the William herschel telescope and the Nationale Galileo Telescope. We also visit the real mountain Roque de los Muchachos. So, there are some pictures:

 

William herschel telescope

Me and the William Herschel

Figure 13. Me and the William Herschel.
Credit of picture: cguzman 

 

In the controls of the William Herschel

Figure 14. In the controls of the William Herschel.
Credit of picture: cguzman 

 

The real controls of the William Herschel

Figure 15. The real controls of the William Herschel.
Credit of picture: cguzman

 

Jose Acosta and me inside the controls of the William Herschel

Figure 16. Jose Acosta and me inside the controls of the William Herschel.
Credit of picture: cguzman

 

 

Figure 17. The William Herschel Telescope.
Credit of picture: cguzman

 

 

Nationale Galileo Telescope

 

Roque de Los muchachos

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I hope you have enjoyed all the pictures ! Please, feel free to comment if you want to known something more about the visit or about any telescope.

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