The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) is a science and technology center dedicated to research in astronomy and astrophysics. It is a public consortium constituted by the General Administration of the Spanish State (Ministry of Science and Innovation), the Public Administration of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna (ULL), and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).
The IAC’s mission is to conduct and promote all types of astrophysics-related research and to disseminate this knowledge. Moreover, the IAC also cooperates in specialised education at university level, offers training to scientists in astrophysics and related fields, and fosters relations with both national and international research communities.
The IAC has its main headquarters in La Laguna in Tenerife, and has also a sea-level offices on La Palma. The IAC operates three Spanish Facilities for Science and Technology (ICTS, Instalaciones Científicas y Tecnológicas Singulares):
- The Observatorios de Canarias on Tenerife (Observatorio del Teide) and La Palma (Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos) islands, that contain jointly telescopes and instruments of about 60 institutions from more than 20 countries -the most important collection of observational facilities for optical and infrared astrophysics inside the EU-
- The 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on La Palma island, the largest optical telescope in the world, developed under the auspices of the IAC
- A node of the National Supercomputer Center.