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Astrophysical research is the IAC's main objective, and the Research Area is responsible for formulating and implementing research projects in the field of Astrophysics and related areas. We want to strengthen and consolidate the IAC's position as an international reference centre for astrophysical research. Through these research activities, a continuous increase in scientific production has been achieved, as well as its international impact throughout these years.
Research activity at the IAC is structured into astrophysical research projects. These projects fall into six main lines of research that cover most fields of Astrophysics, both theoretical and observational or instrumental.
- Solar Physics
- Star and Interstellar Physics
- Formation and evolution of galaxies
- Solar system and exoplanets
- Cosmology and Astroparticles
- The Milky Way and the Local Group
Technological Development and Promotion of the Roque de los Muchachos and Teide Observatories
In order to advance, observational astrophysics requires new observation instruments at the frontier of technology, a permanent challenge for new technological developments that can even be applied in many other fields of general use.
The mission of the Canary Islands' Observatories is to provide and support cutting-edge facilities for frontier research in the sciences of the Universe, guaranteeing the best natural, technological and logistical conditions, while promoting a fruitful framework of international collaboration, enabling the Spanish scientific community to strengthen its leadership in Astrophysics and favouring synergies with other major research infrastructures.
The excellent astronomical quality of the sky over the Canary Islands makes these observatories an “astronomical reserve" located in Spain and open to the international scientific community. The mission of the IAC's Technical Office for the Protection of the Quality of the Sky (OTPC, by its Spanish acronym) is to facilitate the application of the Sky Law and the Regulations that govern it, helping to preserve the astronomical quality of the observatories in the Canary Islands.
The main lines in this regard are:
- Quality of the sky of the Canary Islands
- New technological applications
- International projection
Training, Communication and Scientific Culture
Devoting oneself to astrophysics requires a lot of study, which usually begins with a career in physics or related disciplines. The IAC collaborates with the University of La Laguna, sharing both teaching tasks for the Master's Degree in Astrophysics and the management of the Doctorate Programme in Astrophysics.
The dissemination of science and technology has always been a constant in the IAC's own activity, aware of the importance of connecting with society closely through the organization of numerous and diverse events. In addition, with the aim of awakening scientific vocations or stimulating greater interest in astronomy, the IAC carries out a large number of educational and outreach initiatives, many of which are of a transversal nature.
Its main lines are, therefore:
- Doctoral programs and events
- Networking and Dissemination
- Educational projects