This story begins like many other stories… with some visionary and intrepid characters whose goal was to get closer to the Universe. Charles Piazzi Smyth and Jessica Duncan are our main stars, who not without difficulties, in 1856, sailed more than 3,000 kilometers in order to see billions of kilometers more in the distance. Thus, they established the first high mountain observatory in the World on the summits of Tenerife and their work would forever change the criteria for the location of future telescopes, turning the Canary Islands into a world benchmark for astrophysical research. That is why this story is not like many other stories, it is the beginning of astronomy in these Islands.
The legacy left by this and other scientific expeditions are the Observatories of the Canary Islands, which include Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) on the island of La Palma and Teide Observatory (OT) on Tenerife. These make up one of the three most important astrophysical facilities in the World and are the result of close collaboration between the Instituto Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and more than 70 national and foreign institutions. The excellent quality of the sky of its summits designated Starlight Reserves, the stability of the atmosphere, the high number of clear days per year and its unusual environment, make them unique enclaves not only for science, but also for the senses.