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Catch a Star 2008

As in the recent past, one of the winner teams of the international contest Catch a Star visits Calar Alto Observatory. Marta Kotarba, with her teacher Grzegorz Sęk, from Poland, shared with us three nights during which they were able to get close to Calar Alto facilities and the daily work at a modern astronomical observatory...


The Owl Nebula
teaserStars similar to the Sun end their lives as white dwarfs. But, before becoming those dense stellar corpses, they expel their outer gaseous layers and they ornate the sky for some thousands of years with the most beautiful objects in the universe: planetary nebulae. M97, better known as Owl Nebula, belongs to this category. We present one of the best images ever obtained of this celestial wonder...




Impact on Jupiter


For immediate release, July 21st, 2009

jup_small A dark spot on Jupiter's south polar region, resembling a medium-sized impact from the 1994 crash of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy onto the planet, has been seen by Anthony Wesley of Australia on 19th July 2009 at 15:54 UTC. Calar Alto is monitoring this event and has already collected optical data last night (July 20th) with the LAICA camera on the 3.5m telescope and plans to collect near infrared data tonight (July 21st) with the Omega 2000 camera on the 3.5m telescope of the newly discovered dark spot. All raw data collect is distributed publicly at (anonymous ftp):

Feel free to contact Calar Alto ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) if you have any question/suggestion regarding this event.


Infrared image of Jupiter impact, Calar Alto 3.5 m Zeiss telescope and Omega 2000 camera. Image processing: Carlos Román.

A new class of dim supernovae

The colossal stellar explosions called supernovae come in many kinds and flavours. Some of them are produced when a massive star reaches the end of its life in a sudden gravitational collapse. Astronomers have just found one of these explosions that defies the current classification scheme. The results of this research have been published in Nature, and Calar Alto has contributed to this discovery…

CAHA Legacy Survey: Call for Proposals


Calar Alto Legacy Survey: Call for Proposals

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