Calar Alto Observatory will search for earth-like planets

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Photo by Jose Navarro
LOOKING TO THE STARS: Calar Alto is waiting for Carmenes.

CARMENES’S eyes will be open by the end of this year.

Neither the name nor the eyes in question belong to a living creature but an instrument that will search outer space for earth-like planets from the Calar Alto Observatory.

The Spanish-German Astronomical Centre in Sierra de Los Filabres is jointly operated by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (CSIC) and the Max-Planck-Institut fur Astronomie (MPIA).

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The observatory has three telescopes and Carmenes connects to the largest, which has a 3.5-metre aperture.

The instrument is literally unique as it is the only one of its kind in the world and assembly began earlier this year. All that is missing now is the spectrograph which should arrive at the end of this month or the beginning of October.

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