It is the oldest astronomical observatory in Spain and the fourth in the world. Founded in 1753 by Jorge Juan, Spain’s official time is set at this centre which is one of the most important scientific centres in the world.

Among its fields of research, it is important to highlight the Time Section, which is comprised of a battery of atomic clocks that, since their installation in 1973, set and maintain the Coordinated Universal Time (CUT-ROA)

It is also worth mentioning the Geophysics Section, which since 1879 has worked without stopping.

The mission of the Astronomy Section has, since the Observatory’s founding, been to conduct observations and theoretical studies on positions of stars in the solar system. At the beginning, those that were necessary for the publication of the Nautical Almanac and the Astronomical Ephemeris and then, upon broadening its objective, all those that could be carried out with its instruments and working methods, primarily those recommended by the International Astronomical Union.

The Astronomy Section is divided into three services: Large Field Astrometry, Solar Astronomy and Meridian Astrometry.

This centre is the first geomagnetic observatory in Spain, so it also has a seismological station.

The Observatory’s Library is comprised of more than 30,000 volumes and its inventory has four incunabulum copies. It also has a historical and cultural legacy, with an important archive and bibliographic fund.





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