The Junta de Andalucía will be incorporated in January 2019 the Economic Interest Grouping of the Astronomical Observatory of Calar Alto (Almería), replacing the German Institute Max-Planck-Gesellschaft. The Minister of Knowledge, Research and University, Lina Gálvez, He has informed the Board of Governors of the accession process that manages his department to ensure, together with the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), the continuation of this premier scientific complex. Considered the main observational astronomy infrastructure in continental Europe, its facilities are now a world reference both telescopes and instrumentation edge and the quality of the sky in its location in the Sierra de los Filabres.
The integration of the regional administration will be through the acquisition of shares free of the German partner, the 50% of total, before his departure announced for next December. The decision is preceded by numerous meetings held since 2016 between the Board and the CSIC, which they resulted in a memorandum of understanding signed in March this year to collaborate on the feasibility of the center. Both institutions have decided to maintain the mode of economic interest grouping, for being the best suited to a company with extensive experience and proven scientific and research capacity, In addition to high specialization required management observatory.
Calar Alto was founded in 1973 the result of an international agreement between Spain and the then Federal Republic of Germany. Highly competitive for its constant renewal process, the center has played over the last decades a crucial role in the progress of Spanish astrophysics, to that served as the basis for numerous research, as well as the training of its professionals. Every year about one hundred scientific articles with data from Calar Alto are published in all branches of modern astrophysics.
Thanks to exclusive clubs like CARMENES infrared spectrograph or wide-field camera PANIC, Calar Alto has become a unique observatory for studies like those of star formation in nearby galaxies or search for exoplanets with conditions for the development of life.
The center is fully integrated into the fabric of Spanish astrophysics. In addition to obtaining data for Andalusian universities and research and around the country, It has signed agreements for the use of their infrastructure with institutions such as the National Astronomical Observatory, the National Institute of Aerospace Technology, the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics and the European Space Agency. Recently, Calar Alto has signed cooperation agreements with the universities of Almeria and Seville, that will soon add another to that of Granada.
In its submission to the Governing Council, the Minister Lina Gálvez has highlighted the possibilities offered by the observatory Andalusian academia for being a great development laboratory instruments for Andalusian art engineering schools, especially in the fields of optics, mechanics, electronics and software. Also, He stressed the importance of Calar Alto in strengthening the network of scientific and technological spaces of Andalusia.