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The Bright Fireball of July 2012 Observed from Calar Alto

teaser smallIn the early morning of July the 13th 2012, a cometary fragment impacted the Earth over the Iberian Peninsula and caused one of the most dramatic fireballs of the last decades. Even though the phenomenon occurred over the centre of the Peninsula, it was observed from many places of the Iberian geography, Calar Alto among them…

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Noctilucent clouds from Calar Alto

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The world record for the southernmost observation of noctilucent clouds in the northern hemisphere has been broken in June 2012 from Calar Alto Observatory. A German team, led by the Leibniz Institute for Atmospheric Physics, has been conducting an experiment in search for this elusive kind of extremely high clouds. Noctilucent clouds are tracers of the conditions in the atmospheric layers that mark the boundary with outer space. The apparition of such clouds at these middle latitudes is an indication of the development of extreme and unusual conditions in that region of the atmosphere…

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HEXA: the future for mapping the universe

teaserIn February the 20th 2012 begins the meeting in which HEXA will be presented to the astronomical community: a project for a new 6.5 metre telescope for Calar Alto Observatory (Almeria). HEXA will provide the possibility to perform large spectroscopic surveys of the sky, what will allow dealing with key scientific problems in the field of the evolution of galaxies, stellar structure or the nature of dark energy…

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Advances for the protection of the sky at Calar Alto

teaser The exceptional quality of the skies at Eastern Andalusia is now legally protected, what will allow preserving their natural conditions for astronomical observation. The Ministry for the Environment of the Regional Government of Andalusia has just established the influence area of Calar Alto Observatory, what sets up the conditions that lighting facilities will have to keep from now on, inside this zone. This influence area, with a surface of 3788 km2 (1463 square miles), constitutes the widest zone in Europe having a specific protection against Light pollution...

 

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New spectacular signs of star formation in Cygnus (image release)

teaser smallNew stars are born when the gaseous material of interstellar nebulae gets concentrated under the rip of gravitational attraction. The process of star formation implies a complete set of violent, specific phenomena that usually happen hidden behind the absorbing nebular material. However, modern observation techniques with infrared light are able to penetrate into those turbulent and dark regions where young stars are born. This way it is possible to study some of the energetic and violent processes involved in star formation…

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