Campus Atlántico Tricontinental

Universidad de Las palmas de Gran CanariaUniversidad de La Laguna



  • The Canary Island Institute of Astrophysics (IAC, from the initials in Spanish) is a highly international Spanish research centre consisting of its head offices in La Laguna (Tenerife); the Astrophysics Centre of La Palma in Breña Baja (La Palma); the Mt. Teide Observatory in Izaña (Tenerife) and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in Garafia (La Palma).From an administrative point of view, it has been a public consortium since 1982, made up of the Spanish Central Government, the Canary Island Regional Government, the University of La Laguna and the Scientific Research Council.

Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute - IAC

  • Spanish astrophysicists are allotted 20% of the observation time on all instruments installed in the IAC. 5% of the time is also devoted to co-operation programmes. Making the most of this abundant observation time has been the main lever that has brought Spanish Astrophysics from relative obscurity to a leading position in this field:
    • Spain’s contribution to world-wide Astrophysics has grown progressively over the last 30 years. In 2007, almost seven out of every 100 articles published in specialised Astrophysics journals in the world were written by Spanish authors.
    • Astrophysics is the most productive scientific discipline in Spain regarding the number of publications and therefore, the discipline with the greatest international impact.
    • Over 2,000 astrophysicists from all over the world visit the IAC every year (to use the Observatory, teach, attend workshops, etc.).
  • Working in collaboration with the Department of Astrophysics, the IAC is also a consolidated International Post-Graduate School that to date, has produced over two hundred PhD theses.
  • It also develops much of the technology used in its research activities. This experience has been enhanced in recent years with the installation of THE CANARY ISLANDS Large Telescope (Roque de los Muchachos Observatory), a project that has also driven capacity building among Spanish companies working in this field to new heights
  • The IAC plays a highly active role in initiatives like the European Optical and Infra-Red Astrophysics Co-ordination Network – OPTICON; the Project for building the Extremely Large European Telescope (E-ELT) and on two of its possible future instruments.
  • Ever since it opened, the IAC has always made a special effort to promote dissemination in order to enhance the scientific and technical aspect of culture; open days at the Observatories, information talks both in the Canary Islands and abroad and public events when there is astronomical news or events.