The observatories on the Canary Islands are part of the “golden triangle” of World-class Astronomy, together with the researh centres located in Hawaii and Chile. The discoveries made at those centres are now more accesible to the visitors of Gran Canaria, thanks to the Canarian Foundation for Temisas Observatory.
The Foundation started one of the first regular Science Communication programmes in Gran Canaria, back in year 2000. Even when it is also involved in many research activities, its observatory is a non-profit educational institution above all. So its aims are:
- To spread the idea of the Canarian sky as part of our natural heritage, being also a tourist asset.
- To promote the scientific culture and make it more accessible to residents and visitors.
- To orientate possible scientific vocations among youngsters.
- To offer a meeting point for professional researchers and amateur astronomers, and also a reference place for those willing to start.
If we want to ease access to science in Gran Canaria, we shouldn’t get too far from its residents and visitors. That is the reason for a location which balances quality night sky with relative proximity to urban areas.
Our observatory is located at kilometer 6,7 of GC-550 road, just 25 mins from Gran Canaria’s airport. Maximum driving time to major cities in the island (Las Palmas, Maspalomas) is just 40-45 mins. However, the observatory is also located at 850 meters above sea level, and just on the rim of the volcanic caldera of Tirajana. This is an exceptionally dry, clean and dark space, especially over the North, South and West faces. However, some weaker celestial bodies located on low angles over East horizon (facing the densely populated areas of Balos and Arinaga) do suffer from some observation problems. This is detailed on our FAQ.
The Foundation is a non organization whose educational task is possible thanks to the funds from visitors, the collaboration of Agüimes’ town hall, the generous assignment of the current building by Telefónica and the help of Obra Social “La Caixa” with our educational mission.