The IAC-80, located at the Observatory del Teide, has been completely designed and built by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and it was the first of this class developed in Spain. In 1980 the IAC started its development, was finally installed at the OT in 1991. This telescope has an equatorial German mount, with an effective focal ratio of f/11.3 and effective focal length of 9.02 m and a primary mirror of diameter 82 cm. The instrumentation is installed at the Cassegrain primary focus.
Smaller telescopes are ideal for research programs that cannot be carried out on the giant telescopes (10 meters or more). This fact makes the IAC a privileged institution. Its investigators, as well as others of the national and international astronomical community, have at their disposal enough facilities to carry out projects, such as extended observing campaigns, that in other places would be impracticable. The IAC80 is an ideal telescope for long-term programmes or for collaborations with other telescopes.
The IAC80's common-user instrumentation, since 2005, is a 2048x2048 pixels CCD camera, each of them with a 13.5x13.5 micron/pixel size equivalent to 0.33 arcsecond per pixel in the sky. Therefore, the field of view is equivalent to 10.6 arcminute. This detector has two readout ports and its sensitivity covers the whole optical range. The CCD uses a recirculating refrigeration system to bring its temperature down to -100º C. Another frequently installed instrument at the IAC80 is the TCP (Tromsoe CCD Photometer) camera, a portable instrument optimized for fast readout photometry based on CCD technology. The TCP was built by the Physics Department of Tromsoe University (Norway) together with the CUO (Copenhagen University Observatory).
Many important astronomical observations have been carried out on the IAC80 and the scientific output has been consolidated with more than 100 refereed publications in international journals. The observing projects at the IAC80 include a wide range of targets, from the nearest objects, such as the monitoring of the most important comets in recent years, including the crash of comet P/Shoemaker-Levy against Jupiter, to the most remote ones, such as quasars or gravitational lenses. Among the most outstanding results, have been the discovery of Teide 1 -the first known star-like brown dwarf-, the monitoring during ten years of a gravitational lens that has given information on the dark matter in the universe, and the images of the celestial body responsible for a violent gamma ray burst, one of the most intense energetic bursts in the Universe.
The IAC80 has other important utilities for the development of astronomical research. Among them, it is worth mentioning that it is a testing site for instrumentation of other large telescopes, (like Gran Telescopio CANARIAS), as well as being used for the atmospheric characterization of the Canarian Observatories, together with other telescopes (TCS and OGS). Finally, a great number of students from different European universities, (not only from the University of La Laguna), carry out their first observations with this telescope.