A disintegrating rocket and commercial satellites visible from Calar Alto


May 7th 2021

On May 4th, 2021, shortly before 11 pm (Central European Summer Time), the Calar Alto webcam pointing North recorded this video showing a curious phenomenon, visible to the naked eye. Daniel Marín, an expert in astronautics, identified that it was a Falcon 9 rocket from the SpaceX company, launched from Cape Canaveral (USA) on the same day at 9 pm CEST. This partially reusable rocket carried on board 60 satellites for the Starlink broadband project.

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Galactic nova identified: scientific results from Calar Alto Academy 2021


April 28th 2021

The program Calar Alto Academy, in its 2021 edition, has allowed the identification of the galactic nova AT2021kgk, leading to the publication of the details and conclusions of the observation, and the spectrum of the source as well, in professional scientific channels.

The students and teachers from the University of Barcelona decided devoting part of their observing time of their practical work to obtain spectra of a transient source named AT2021kgk, whose discovery had been announced 3 nights before.

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A thesis about the PANIC camera is awarded the 2020 MERAC prize in new technologies


March 9th 2020

The optical engineer Concepción Cárdenas Vázquez has been awarded the MERAC Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis in New Technologies (Instrumental) by the European Astronomical Society (EAS)

The thesis encompasses the development of PANIC, an infrared, wide-field camera that operated and is being upgraded for the Calar Alto Observatory

FONDATION MERAC (Mobilising European Research in Astrophysics and Cosmology) and the European Astronomical Society (EAS) awards biyearly the MERAC prize to the best thesis developed in Europe, an award that seeks to promote innovative research in astrophysics and cosmology and support young researchers. The prize, 25,000 euros, in the category of New Technologies, Instrumental, has been awarded in 2020 to the thesis of Concepción Cárdenas "PANIC, a large field infrared camera for Calar Alto", developed at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC).


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