This website uses cookies. To read more about our use of cookies, click here.
To not be bothered by this message again, click the OK button.

Tenerife Observatory Location

The position of the telescope has been measured in a number of ways. The following is regarded as the most accurate. It has been calculated from a map published by Kompass of Innsbruck. The mapping has been done using REGCAN 95 geodetic reference system for the Canary archipelago i.e. origin geocentre, fundamental point Maspalomas on Gran Canary, coordinates ITRS94 epoch 94.9, associate ellipsoid GRS80.

The telescope is located 10 metres from the highest point on the Izaña ridge, and is calculated from the map to have the coordinates Latitude 28 degrees 17' 54" north with an estimated error of about 1 arc second, longitude 16 degrees 30' 34" west with an estimated error of about 1 arc second. These errors translate to a distance of about 30 metres.

The altitude to the top of the pier is 2,400 metres with an estimated error of 0.5 metres.

Measurements using GPS systems were not consistent and gave us a position about 8 seconds different in latitude, 10 seconds different in longitude and 48 metres different in altitude.

We know that the altitude is wrong since the map marks the altitude and so it is reasonable to assume the map is correct and the GPS errors are larger than the errors derived from measuring the position on the map. The largest of which will probably be in determining the highest point on the ridge.


Written by John Baruch, updated January 2004.

© 2017 The Open University