The Italian Nazionale Galileo Telescope (TNG) is located at the Observatory on Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma. With a primary mirror of 3.58 metres in diameter, it is the most important installation of the Italian astronomical community in the visible/infrared range. The TNG is equipped with 3 instruments permanently installed in its foci and offers a variety of observing modes covering the optical and near-infrared spectrum, offering wide-field imaging up to high-resolution spectroscopy. Its most relevant instrument is the HARPS-N "High Precision Radial Speed Planter in the Northern Hemisphere. It is one of the most accurate spectrographs in the world that has the main objective of discovering and characterizing extrasolar planets the size of the Earth (Echelle spectrometer at 383-633 nm wavelengths and with spectral resolution of R = 115000). In practice HARPS-N measures the slight oscillation of the star caused by the presence of the planet (in m/s) with which it can estimate the mass of the exoplanets, their chemical composition and distance to the star. History The agreements for the construction of the telescope in La Palma were signed in 1979 and the telescope The telescope saw its "first light" in 1998. Until June 2004, the telescope was operated by the Galileo Galilei Genter, created in 1997 by the Consorzio Nazionale per l'Astronomia e l'Astrofisica (CNAA). From July 27, 2004, the new Galileo Galilei Foundation, funded by the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), is responsible for the management of the TNG. Results The TNG is currently looking mainly for exoplanets, a very relevant field in astrophysics at the moment. The first exoplanet discovered by the TNG was the Kepler 78 b, a planet similar to Earth in size and mass but much hotter, surface temperature can reach 5,000 degrees. Another exoplanet also in the news, and
The Italian Nazionale Galileo Telescope (TNG) is located at the Observatory on Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma. With a primary mirror of 3.58 metres in diameter, it is the most important installation of the
Who has stolen the stars? Light pollution has stolen most of the stars from our sky. We cannot see them now properly except in some places. In La Palma for example we can still see a very dark sky and the Milky Way easily. This is a shame, but hopefully we can travel to be able to see it with our own eyes. What is the Milky Way? The Milky Way is the galaxy in which Earth and the Solar System lies. It contains more than 200 000 million of stars and its diameter is estimated to be about 100 000 light-years (about 420 000 000 000 000 000 Km). From a dark location on Earth, we can only see a tiny part of our galaxy, only our neighbouring stars really. And only if you are on those dark locations you may be lucky enough to see the disk of the galaxy. About 50 years ago, everybody was able to identify the Milky Way in the sky even if they did not know what it really was. Nowadays, due to light pollution, it is estimated than less of 70 % of Earth population in Europe or United States have ever seen the Milky Way. This is because, the light pollution has stolen the light of the stars. La Palma is still one of those few places on this planet from which the stars and dark sky are visible, even from populated towns. This is thanks to light pollution being controlled by law (Law of the sky, 1989). So, do come to La Palma! You now know that besides the beautiful landscapes and protected areas on the island, visitors can also enjoy the light of the stars. You can even try to reach them with the tips of your fingers!
Who has stolen the stars? Light pollution has stolen most of the stars from our sky. We cannot see them now properly except in some places. In La Palma for example we can still see
The astronomical viewpoints are accessible places with open views to the sky and that serve to interpret the stars in the open air. In La Palma these places have explanatory panels and car parks. There is an astronomical viewpoint by council plus two viewpoints above the 2000 meters height, so there is a total of 16 astronomy viewpoints. In these viewpoints is where most of the activities for general public related to astronomy on the island take place, either organized by companies in the sector or by individuals. Still, they are not the only sites that can used to observe the sky on the island as the very little light pollution in La Palma allows to stargaze nearly everywhere. More information
The astronomical viewpoints are accessible places with open views to the sky and that serve to interpret the stars in the open air. In La Palma these places have explanatory panels and car parks. There
The Gran Telescopio de Canarias on the island of La Palma is currently the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world and one of the most advanced. The primary mirror consists of 36 hexagonal segments of 1.90 m vertices, 8 cm thick, and 470 kg, which act together as a single mirror. The GTC collecting surface is equivalent to that of a telescope with a mirror diameter of 10.4 m. The focal length is 169.9 m and therefore the maximum field of view is 20 arcmin in diameter (about the size of the full Moon). History After years in the drawing boards of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, in 1994 GRANTECAN SA when it was founded, with the aim of designing and building the world's largest telescope: the Gran Telescopio Canarias. Subsequently, agreements were signed with the Government of Mexico, for two of their universities to participate in the project and also joined as a partner the United States, through the University of Florida. The telescope cost no less than 130 million euros and has an annual budget of nearly 9 million Euros. The construction of the telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos on the island of La Palma, began in 2000 and the start of the science phase began operating in March 2009. The telescope time is shared by Spanish scientists (90%), Mexico (5%) and the U.S. (5%), the same percentage who contributed to the initial project. Curiosities We can compare the power of sight of the telescope to four million human eyes. It could distinguish the headlights of a car at about 20,000 miles away. The metal structure of the dome is assembled with screws 16,000 and 43,000 metal nuts. The mirrors are cleaned with powdered snow made of carbon dioxide. There are
The Gran Telescopio de Canarias on the island of La Palma is currently the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world and one of the most advanced. The primary mirror consists of 36 hexagonal segments of
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