Nordic Optical Telescope

Nordic Optical Telescope

The building of the Nordic Optical Telescope near the time of sunset.
Organisation NOT Council
Location(s) La Palma, Canary Islands
Coordinates 28°45′26″N 17°53′06″W / 28.75722°N 17.88500°W / 28.75722; -17.88500Coordinates: 28°45′26″N 17°53′06″W / 28.75722°N 17.88500°W / 28.75722; -17.88500
Altitude 2,382 metres (7,815 ft)[1]
Wavelength Optical / infrared
Built 1988
Telescope style Ritchey-Chretien reflector
Diameter 2.56 metres (101 in)
Focal length 2.816m
Mounting alt/az
Enclosure Half sphere
The interior of the telescope, showing an instrument on the Cassegrain focus.

The Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) is an astronomical telescope located at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma in the Canary Islands. The telescope saw first light in 1988, and was officially inaugurated during September 1989. Regular observing started in 1990. It is funded by Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and (since 1997) Iceland. Access is provided directly to astronomers of the funding countries, and of all nationalities through international time allocation committees.

The NOT was the first major telescope facility designed to use active optics to correct the shape of a thin, lightweight primary mirror supported on actuators. The main mirror has a diameter of 2.56 metres (101 in), and it was produced by the optical laboratory at the Tuorla Observatory.


The NOT operates three instruments that can be mounted -only one at a time- under the Cassegrain focus:

There are two more instruments, permanently mounted on a folded-Cassegrain configuration. Retractable folding mirrors allow to switch in short time from the main instrument to either of them.

Visitor Instruments

The NOT has been host to a number of instruments on a "visitor" status.


A new instrument for the NOT is currently under development, under the working name of NTE.[2] This new instrument is meant to be mounted permanently in the Cassegrain focus, providing imaging and spectroscopic capabilities both in the full optical and near-infrared range.


  1. "Technical Details of the Telescope". Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  2. "The NTE is a go!". Retrieved 1 October 2014.
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