Signed Agreement on Hosting CTA's Northern Hemisphere Array in La Palma

On 19 September 2016, the Council of the Cherenkov Telescope Array Observatory (CTAO) concluded negotiations with the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) to host CTA's northern hemisphere array at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma, Spain.

CTA's northern hemisphere site will be located on the existing site of the IAC's Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on the island of La Palma, the fifth largest island in the Canary Islands. At 2,200 m altitude and nestled on a plateau below the rim of an extinct volcanic crater, the site currently hosts the two Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes (MAGIC) telescopes. This location offers excellent conditions for astronomical observations.

The agreement allows the construction of the CTA northern array to proceed at the Roque de los Muchachos site and ensures access to the infrastructure and common services needed for the operation of the Observatory, including the digital connection of the CTA network with the rest of the world. In return, Spain will receive 10 percent of the observation time in the northern site, with part of this transferable to the southern hemisphere. Beyond provision of the northern site, Spain plans to make major contributions to the construction of CTA.

IFAE coordinates CTA-Spain and is involved in the design and construction of the LST1, the prototype of the Large-Sized Telescope of the CTA array that is currently underway on the La Palma site and can be watched live here: http://webcam.lst1.iac.es/stream2view.htm.

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