Monday, July 27, 2009

King and Queen of Spain inaugurate Largest Telescope in the World

On Friday, July 24, TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain officially inaugurated the GTC (Gran Telescopio Canarias) or Grantecan, which is consider the most powerful and advanced telescope in the world.

The new “Crown Jewel” is situated at 2,400 meters above sea-level, in one of the top astronomical sites in the Northern Hemisphere: Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (RMO), on La Palma Island, a declared World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, and a place where Jose Miguel Rodriguez Espinosa, director of GCT, said it is an “ideal observation point, because it is scarcely populated and scarcely illuminated.”

On June 2, 2000, His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias, a well-known astronomy fan, laid the foundation stone of the GTC, and on July 2007 he also attended the “firs observation” of the new telescope.

“With this Observatory, Canaries and its peoples have demonstrated that this land, beyond its enviable tourist offer, offers undoubted possibilities for the development of new initiatives with the join of the rest of Spain”, said King Juan Carlos during the official inauguration.

1 comment:

Race said...

The Spanish monarchy has always been a friend to astronomy. Alfonso X actually compiled many of the astronomical tables that served as the basis for medieval discoveries in this field.