VSA Observing Site
The IAC Teide Observatory Tenerife
As one goes to higher frequencies, radio telescopes start to be affected by atmospheric emission due to molecular lines such as water (22 GHz) and oxygen (57 GHz). With the great sensitivity required to observe the CMB anisotropies, the cloudy English skies have to be avoided at all cost, so we operate the VSA at a dry high altitude site on a mountain in Tenerife. The Teide Observatory site run by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) is at an altitude of approximately 2400 m, which is above much of the atmospheric water vapour.
The Jodrell Bank CMB group, with their IAC collaboration, have proven the site with the operation of four CMB telescopes in the past at 10, 15 and 33 GHz.