Telescopio Carlos Sánchez

The telescope

Latitude: 28º 18' 01.8" N N Longitude: +16º 30' 39.2" W Altitude: 2386.75m

The Carlos Sánchez telescope is located in the IAC’s (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) Teide Observatory. It has a primary mirror with diameter 1.52 meters and it is mainly setted for night observations in the infrared range. Its design and building was directed by Prof. J. Ring (ICSTM) in collaboration with other groups from the United Kingdom and IAC, commissioning in 1971 and starting service in 1972. It was originally designed as a low cost flux collector for infrared astronomy and it was one of the early telescopes with a thin mirror. After two years studying for the best place choosing between Tenerife, La Palma and Sierra Nevada, TCS was finally installed in Tenerife. The total budget of the telescope was only 58 000 pounds (about 70 000 euros). Surprisingly, TCS telescope is one of the largest telescopes in the world mainly setted for infrared astronomy nowadays.  

In 1983 the original owner of the telescope, SERC (Science and Engineering Research Council), transferred its responsibility to the IAC and improvements in order to keep the telescope in a competitive status are performed. Actions carried out for this purpose take from creating technical services of Instrumental Maintenance and hiring observers to help along the observations, to automating control and data acquisition moved to an adjoining room converted into Control Room, installing instrumentation for common use and improving and optimizing general structure of the telescope to increase features in pointing precision and tracking. 

Dr. Carlos Sánchez Magro, Astrophysic Professor at Universidad de La Laguna, in whose honor the telescope was named, was a prominent member of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias since the beginning. He was born in Valladolid, in 1944, and died in Tenerife in 1985, only 6 days after the solemn opening ceremony of facilities and observatories in the IAC. He was the driving force behind infrared astronomy and teaching in the Universidad de La Laguna. His interest, enthusiasm and critical awareness pervaded the young generations in the IAC. His memory should be lasting.

Technical Data

Telescope scheme  

FocusCassegrain (f/13.8)

  • FastCam. Low noise and fast readout camera for Lucky Imaging observations in RIZ filters.
  • Muscat2. Simultanous griz photometry.
Physical limits values
North Dec +64.55 deg
South Dec -36 deg
East AH -4.57 hours
West AH +5.01 hours
Optical system
Primary-secondary distance 135″ (3429 mm) in the secondary central position
Primary-equipment holder ring dist. 22.25″ (565.15 mm)
Focus-equipment holder ring dist. 49.75″ (1263.6 mm)
Floor-equipment holder ring dist. 73.00″ (1854.2 mm)
Focal plane-secondary ratio 20 mm focal plane displacement
1 mm displac. sec. 30″ image widening
Primary mirror     Secondary mirror  
Reflecting surface geometry Concave ellipsoid   Reflecting surface geometry Convex sphere
Diameter 60″ (1524 mm)   Diameter 371 mm (checked on 26/03/87)
Hole diameter 8″ (203.2 mm)   Curvature radio 2925 mm
Curvature radio 9134.39 mm   Focus path 140 mm (±70 mm)
Conic constant -0.712   Weight 16 kg
Weight 512.5 kg   Transmission weight (without mirror) 10 kg