Historical photographs

National. Spanish observatories

National. Spanish observatories


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The image reproduces what was the first building of the National Astronomical Observatory of Spain, under the National Geographic Institute (IGN). In neoclassical style, it was baptized as the Royal Observatory of Madrid and was built by Juan de Villanueva in 1790 at the initiative of Carlos III. It is located in the Buen Retiro Park, and its 60 cm diameter reflector telescope was commissioned to astronomer W. Herschel. It currently hosts a library and an exhibition on ancient scientific devices.

The IGN has other active observatories, which are the ones that actually perform the observation of space, such as the Astronomical Center of Yebes (CAY), the Observation station of Calar Alto (EOCA) and the headquarters of Alcalá de Henares (CACGYA).

The CAY is located in the Alcarreña town of Yebes, and due to its special geographical location, 980 meters above sea level, it is ideal for radio astronomical observation. It has two optical telescopes (one double 40 cm aperture and another 15 cm solar), a pavilion of scientific dissemination, a GPS geodetic station and dependencies for scientists.

For its part, the EOCA is located in the Sierra de los Filabres, in Almería, and has a reflector telescope of 1.52 meters in diameter available to the entire national astronomical community.

Finally, CACGYA, located on the Campus of the University of Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), has been the new headquarters of the National Astronomical Observatory since 1995, and houses the administration offices and research staff, such as astronomers or students of doctorate.

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Album: Images of the history Gallery: Spanish observatories