Canaries Great Telescope -Spain’s Pathway To The Universe
Ever since it was officially unveiled in 2009, the Canaries Great Telescope has been providing Spain’s astronomers with vital information regarding our solar system and our galaxy. This fantastic engineering masterpiece is also known as the GTC, and it was created through a joint effort by Spanish, Mexican and American institutions such as the University of Florida, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
The telescope was built at the top of a volcanic peak at an altitude of 7,438 feet, but the construction process was not an easy one since transporting materials at such altitudes is a challenging task to say the least. The telescope was built between 2002 and 2008 at a staggering cost of $178 million. The GTC went through a series of successful test runs in 2007 while using only a fraction of its power, and it was inaugurated officially in 2009 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain himself during a ceremony that was attended by over 500 government officials, astronomers and journalists.
As the largest single-aperture optical telescope in the world, the GTC has a collecting area of 845.4 square feet as well as a focal length of 650 inches. The telescope also boasts the CanariCam mid-infrared imager developed by the University of Florida as well as the OSIRIS imaging and low-resolution spectrograph. The GTC’s most recent accomplishments involve the discovery of a supernova in a galaxy called M74 as well the first-time observation of a main-belt comet divided into several fragments.