For the first time, over 10,000 people had visited the Gran Telescopio Canarias or GRANTECAN. The forecast for the full year is for some 12,000 visits, a considerable number taking into account the remoteness of the telescope and that it is a scientific installation working 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
This figure confirms the great public interest in this telescope, which is an emblem of Spanish science and technology at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, and coincides with the celebration during 2019 of the tenth anniversary of the initiation of scientific operations with GRANTECAN.
During the month of November it is hoped to open a new “surround” experience for the visitors, which will give a novel concept of the telescope. The installation, known as SINERGIA, will show the public real data obtained with GRANTECAN using new audiovisual technology based on multiple projection and with an attractive, but scientifically rigorous design.
This experience aims at explaining the work of the scientists who study the Universe, showing the techniques they use to obtain deep images of the sky, and to analyse, in full detail, the feeble light which reaches us from the depths of the Cosmos.
According to Romano Corradi, the director of GRANTECAN, “ SINERGIA is the name of a maternal person who tells her son, with simple pictures and words, about the complexity of what the Universe is made of, and how we analyze its light to understand it”.
The new installation is co-funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, in the framework of the project “SINERGIA: A new 'surround' experience for visits to GRANTECAN”.
Agustín Nuñez, operations engineer, GRANTECAN: agustin.nunez [at] gtc.iac.es
The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its inauguration in the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory. During the past decade the largest optical and infrared telescope in the world has carried out over 14,000 hours of observation and has produced scientific data in some 450 articles in the leading journals. Some of the key scientific highlights have been included in a special outreach leaflet recently published by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the GTC.