Sierra Nevada Observatory
The Sierra Nevada Observatory is located at Loma de Dilar in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, in the province of Granada, Spain. It is operated and maintained by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía and contains two Nasmyth telescopes with apertures of 1.5 and 0.9 metres. Haumea List of largest optical reflecting telescopes Official site
The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching 1,200 kilometres across eight Alpine countries: France, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, at 4,810 m is the highest mountain in the Alps; the Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres. The altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m, plants such as Edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era.
A mummified man, determined to be 5,000 years old, was discovered on a glacier at the Austrian–Italian border in 1991. By the 6th century BC, the Celtic La Tène culture was well established. Hannibal famously crossed the Alps with a herd of elephants, the Romans had settlements in the region. In 1800, Napoleon crossed one of the mountain passes with an army of 40,000; the 18th and 19th centuries saw an influx of naturalists and artists, in particular, the Romantics, followed by the golden age of alpinism as mountaineers began to ascend the peaks. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity; the traditional culture of farming and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages, although the tourist industry began to grow early in the 20th century and expanded after World War II to become the dominant industry by the end of the century. The Winter Olympic Games have been hosted in the Swiss, Italian and German Alps. At present, the region has 120 million annual visitors; the English word Alps derives from the Latin Alpes.
Maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator of Virgil, says in his commentary that all high mountains are called Alpes by Celts. The term may be common to Italo-Celtic, because the Celtic languages have terms for high mountains derived from alp; this may be consistent with the theory. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might derive from a pre-Indo-European word *alb "hill". Albania, a name not native to the region known as the country of Albania, has been used as a name for a number of mountainous areas across Europe. In Roman times, "Albania" was a name for the eastern Caucasus, while in the English languages "Albania" was used as a name for Scotland, although it is more derived from the Latin albus, the color white; the Latin word Alpes could come from the adjective albus. In modern languages the term alp, albe or alpe refers to a grazing pastures in the alpine regions below the glaciers, not the peaks. An alp refers to a high mountain pasture where cows are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found, the term "the Alps", referring to the mountains, is a misnomer.
The term for the mountain peaks varies by nation and language: words such as Horn, Kopf, Spitze and Berg are used in German speaking regions. The Alps are a crescent shaped geographic feature of central Europe that ranges in a 800 km arc from east to west and is 200 km in width; the mean height of the mountain peaks is 2.5 km. The range stretches from the Mediterranean Sea north above the Po basin, extending through France from Grenoble, stretching eastward through mid and southern Switzerland; the range continues onward toward Vienna and east to the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia. To the south it dips into northern Italy and to the north extends to the southern border of Bavaria in Germany. In areas like Chiasso and Allgäu, the demarcation between the mountain range and the flatlands are clear; the countries with the greatest alpine territory are Austria, Italy and Switzerland. The highest portion of the range is divided by the glacial trough of the Rhône valley, from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa on the southern side, the Bernese Alps on the northern.
The peaks in the easterly portion of the range, in Austria and Slovenia, are smaller than those in the central and western portions. The variances in nomenclature in the region spanned by the Alps makes classification of the mountains and subregions difficult, but a general classification is that of the Eastern Alps and Western Alps with the divide between the two occurring in eastern Switzerland according to geologist Stefan Schmid, near the Splügen Pass; the highest peaks of the Western Alps and Eastern Alps are Mont Blanc, at 4,810 m and Piz Bernina at 4,049 metres. The second-highest major
In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, sleet, snow and hail. Precipitation occurs when a portion of the atmosphere becomes saturated with water vapor, so that the water condenses and "precipitates", thus and mist are not precipitation but suspensions, because the water vapor does not condense sufficiently to precipitate. Two processes acting together, can lead to air becoming saturated: cooling the air or adding water vapor to the air. Precipitation forms as smaller droplets coalesce via collision with other rain drops or ice crystals within a cloud. Short, intense periods of rain in scattered locations are called "showers."Moisture, lifted or otherwise forced to rise over a layer of sub-freezing air at the surface may be condensed into clouds and rain. This process is active when freezing rain occurs. A stationary front is present near the area of freezing rain and serves as the foci for forcing and rising air.
Provided necessary and sufficient atmospheric moisture content, the moisture within the rising air will condense into clouds, namely stratus and cumulonimbus. The cloud droplets will grow large enough to form raindrops and descend toward the Earth where they will freeze on contact with exposed objects. Where warm water bodies are present, for example due to water evaporation from lakes, lake-effect snowfall becomes a concern downwind of the warm lakes within the cold cyclonic flow around the backside of extratropical cyclones. Lake-effect snowfall can be locally heavy. Thundersnow is possible within lake effect precipitation bands. In mountainous areas, heavy precipitation is possible where upslope flow is maximized within windward sides of the terrain at elevation. On the leeward side of mountains, desert climates can exist due to the dry air caused by compressional heating. Most precipitation is caused by convection; the movement of the monsoon trough, or intertropical convergence zone, brings rainy seasons to savannah climes.
Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle, is responsible for depositing the fresh water on the planet. 505,000 cubic kilometres of water falls as precipitation each year. Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres, but over land it is only 715 millimetres. Climate classification systems such as the Köppen climate classification system use average annual rainfall to help differentiate between differing climate regimes. Precipitation may occur on other celestial bodies, e.g. when it gets cold, Mars has precipitation which most takes the form of frost, rather than rain or snow. Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle, is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the planet. 505,000 km3 of water falls as precipitation each year, 398,000 km3 of it over the oceans. Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres. Mechanisms of producing precipitation include convective and orographic rainfall.
Convective processes involve strong vertical motions that can cause the overturning of the atmosphere in that location within an hour and cause heavy precipitation, while stratiform processes involve weaker upward motions and less intense precipitation. Precipitation can be divided into three categories, based on whether it falls as liquid water, liquid water that freezes on contact with the surface, or ice. Mixtures of different types of precipitation, including types in different categories, can fall simultaneously. Liquid forms of precipitation include drizzle. Rain or drizzle that freezes on contact within a subfreezing air mass is called "freezing rain" or "freezing drizzle". Frozen forms of precipitation include snow, ice needles, ice pellets and graupel; the dew point is the temperature to which a parcel must be cooled in order to become saturated, condenses to water. Water vapor begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust and salt in order to form clouds. An elevated portion of a frontal zone forces broad areas of lift, which form clouds decks such as altostratus or cirrostratus.
Stratus is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass. It can form due to the lifting of advection fog during breezy conditions. There are four main mechanisms for cooling the air to its dew point: adiabatic cooling, conductive cooling, radiational cooling, evaporative cooling. Adiabatic cooling occurs when air expands; the air can rise due to convection, large-scale atmospheric motions, or a physical barrier such as a mountain. Conductive cooling occurs when the air comes into contact with a colder surface by being blown from one surface to another, for example from a liquid water surface to colder land. Radiational cooling occurs due to the emission of infrared radiation, either by the air or by the surface underneath. Evaporative cooling occurs when moisture is added to the air through evaporation, which forces the air temperature to cool to its wet-bulb temperature, or until it reaches saturation; the main ways water vapor is added to the air are: wind convergence into areas of upward motion, precipitation or virga falling from above, daytime heating evaporating water from the surface of oceans, water bodies or wet lan
Alcazaba (Sierra Nevada)
The Alcazaba mountain is a mountain in Spain. Standing at 3,371 metres, it is the third highest mountain of the Sierra Nevada range and the fifth in the Iberian Peninsula; the impressive north face can be seen from the town of Granada. The name Alcazaba derives from the word fortification; the mountain is located between the Mulhacén and Puntal de Vacares mountains, is one of the most isolated places in the Sierra Nevada. Ascent requires a minimum of one night stay. Alcazaba can be accessed from any direction, it can be walked up from the south. There are footpath nets from the villages of Pampaneira, Bubión, Capileira and Trevélez and from the village of Güéjar Sierra at the north side of the mountain. All the paths start an unusually long distance from the mountain; the shortest walk is about 20 km. The only sources of water are Rio Genil on the north side of the mountain, Rio Poqueira on the south west side of the Mulhacen and there are tiny rivers on the north side of Puntal de Vacares mountain, at Prado de la Mina.
The most used mountain hut is the Poqueira hut at 2500 m altitude, on the western flank of the Mulhacen mountain. Poqueira hut is staffed and places are limited but can be booked in advance. From there, one can continue over the Mulhacen mountain and down to Siete Lagunas, before ascending the Alcazaba. There are a few routes leading from Laguna Mosca through the west face, but these are physically more demanding than the south face. There is a tiny stone hut on the western side of the mountain. Refugio Campinuela is located in the middle of Trevelez and Alcazaba. There is a hut at the Cueva Secreta, approached from Güéjar Sierra. Cueva Secreta is a long cave providing shelter for more than 20 climbers; some climbers prefer the north east route, using a hut near El Real or natural caves at the Prado de la Mina. From here the remains of two volcanoes can be seen. Alcazaba has a steep north face going straight down about 1000 m. There are two paths going through the face in the middle from west to east.
These paths may have been used to collect water. Small rivers can be found at the Prado de la Mina. To the east side are three lakes under the name Lagunas de la Calderetas. At the wide top terrain are two peaks at the south side of the mountain. Siete Lagunas are located between Alcazaba. During the summer months good hiking boots are needed, because of the walking distances involved and the nature of the terrain in this area. Alcazaba gets covered by snow at the beginning of December, therefore crampons and other winter climbing gear such as climbing axes are essential. There are plenty of challenges on this mountain as one can walk and climb on it. One of the features of these mountains are that they have the longest climbing season in Europe due to their southern latitude. Nights can become cold, because of the freezing sea winds. There are some ibex to be seen. Alcazaba - Sierra Nevada News, Reports & Mountain Conditions Walking and Trekking Sierra Nevada; the High Peaks
A summit is a point on a surface, higher in elevation than all points adjacent to it. The topographic terms acme, apex and zenith are synonymous; the term top is used only for a mountain peak, located at some distance from the nearest point of higher elevation. For example, a big massive rock next to the main summit of a mountain is not considered a summit. Summits near a higher peak, with some prominence or isolation, but not reaching a certain cutoff value for the quantities, are considered subsummits of the higher peak, are considered part of the same mountain. A pyramidal peak is an exaggerated form produced by ice erosion of a mountain top. Summit may refer to the highest point along a line, trail, or route; the highest summit in the world is Everest with height of 8844.43 m above sea level. The first official ascent was made by Sir Edmund Hillary, they reached the mountain`s peak in 1953. Whether a highest point is classified as a summit, a sub peak or a separate mountain is subjective; the UIAA definition of a peak is.
Otherwise, it's a subpeak. In many parts of the western United States, the term summit refers to the highest point along a road, highway, or railroad. For example, the highest point along Interstate 80 in California is referred to as Donner Summit and the highest point on Interstate 5 is Siskiyou Mountain Summit. A summit climbing differs from the common mountaineering. Summit expedition requires: 1+ year of training, a good physical shape, a special gear. Although a huge part of climber’s stuff can be left and taken at the base camps or given to porters, there is a long list of personal equipment. In addition to common mountaineers’ gear, Summit climbers need to take Diamox and bottles of oxygen. There are special requirements for crampons, ice axe, rappel device, etc. Geoid Hill – Landform that extends above the surrounding terrain Nadir Summit accordance Peak finder Summit Climbing Gear List
Sierra Nevada National Park (Spain)
The Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada is a national park located in the provinces of Granada, Almería, Málaga in Andalusia, Spain. It was declared a national park on 14 January 1999, it stretches from the Alpujarra to El Marquesado and the Lecrin Valley, covering a total area of 85,883 hectares, making it the largest national park in Spain. It incorporates the municipalities of Abla, Alboloduy, Bayárcal, Canjáyar, Fiñana, Fondón, Laujar de Andarax, Ohanes, Paterna del Río, Rágol, Las Tres Villas, Alpujarra de La Sierra, Bérchules, Bubión, Busquístar, Cáñar, Capileira, Dílar, Dólar, Dúrcal, Ferreira, Güéjar Sierra, Huéneja, Jerez del Marquesado, Lanjarón, Lecrín, Monachil, Nigüelas, Pampaneira, Pórtugos, Soportújar, La Taha, Trevélez, Valor and La Zubia. There are more than 20 peaks over 3,000 meters, with the highest being Mulhacén, Veleta and Alcazaba; the rivers that rise on the north face of the range feed the Guadalquivir basin, the most important ones being the Fardes and Genil. Meanwhile, the rivers that rise on the west and south faces run down into the Mediterranean.
These include the Dúrcal, Ízbor, Trevélez and Poqueira, which are all tributaries of the Guadalfeo, which itself rises in the Sierra Nevada, the Adra and Andarax, with their tributaries. The south and west faces are where you will find the majority of the 50 high-mountain lakes that exist in the Sierra Nevada, many of which are the sources of streams and rivers. Much of the landscape above 2,400 metres was shaped by the action of glaciers, resulting in characteristic U-shaped valleys. Due to its isolated location in the far south of Europe, the flora and fauna of the Sierra Nevada are unique. During the last ice age, species moved south to escape the colder climate in the north, as the climate grew warmer again, these species survived by taking refuge in the mountains. 2,100 plant species have been catalogued in the park, 116 of which are classified as threatened, over 60 of which are unique to the area. Threatened species include the Artemisia granatensis, a sub-species of the Marsh Gentian endemic to the Sierra Nevada and the Alpine Meadow-rue.
One of the most emblematic plants of the Sierra Nevada is the Plantago nivalis known as the Snow Star. The park is home to a thriving Spanish ibex population, along with other species such as wild boar, martens and wildcats. Native bird species include the Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Common Kestrel, Little Owl, Eurasian Eagle-owl, European Goldfinch, Ortolan, Dartford Warbler, Red-legged Partridge and Common Quail. On the edge of the park lies the Botanic Garden of Cortijuela, where the endemic species of the Sierra are investigated and preserved. Skiing:The Sierra Nevada Ski Station, which hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1996, is Europe's southernmost ski resort. Thanks to its high altitude, the skiing season can last from late November until the start of May. Hiking:Popular bases for hiking in the Sierra Nevada include Capileira, Trevélez, Monachil, Güéjar Sierra and Bubión, it is easy to reach the summits of Mulhacén and Veleta, whereas Alcazaba is harder to reach. Dotted around the Sierra Nevada there are a number of mountain cabins designed for the use of hikers.
The three staffed cabins charge a small amount. There are a further six unstaffed cabins in a reasonable state of repair. Paragliding Bird-watching Sierra Nevada Sierra Nevada Natural Park
Province of Almería
Almería is a province of the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. It is bordered by the provinces of Granada and the Mediterranean Sea, its capital is the homonymous city of Almería. Almería has an area of 8,774 km². With 701,688 inhabitants, its population density is 79.96/km² lower than the Spanish average. It is divided in 102 municipalities; the highest mountain range in the Province of Almería is the 50 km long Sierra de Los Filabres. Europe's driest area is part of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park; the arid landscape and climate of the province have made it an ideal setting for Western films during the 1960s. Because of the demand for these locations, quite a number of Western towns were built near the Tabernas Desert. Films such as A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly were shot here. Years the film of 800 Bullets was filmed in the same place. Large sections of Conan the Barbarian, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lawrence of Arabia and Patton were shot there as well.
The main river is the Andarax River, located near Granada in the Alpujarras. The Beninar Reservoir, located near Darrical, provides part of the water needed in the production in greenhouses. Interesting and unique species of animals native to the Alto Almanzora are in the process of extinction; the most important economic activity is greenhouse farming. Millions of tons of vegetables are exported to other European countries and other parts of the world each year. See Intensive farming in Almería Tourism is a key sector of the economy, due to the sunny weather and attractive areas such as Roquetas de Mar, Almerimar, Vera or Cabo de Gata; the principal industrial activity is in the Macael canteras marble quarrying area in the Sierra de los Filabres region from Macael Viejo to Chercos and Cobdar which produce in excess of 1.3 million tons. The Cantoria, Olula del Rio and Purchena area of the Alto Almanzora valley is fast becoming the regional megalopolis through high imports and exports and employment in local and international marble processing.
All the tourist accommodations and construction throughout coastal Spain has driven high demand and brought huge modernisation. Small pueblos of agriculturalists have given rise to computerised machining factories; the German-Spanish Calar Alto Observatory is one of the most important observatories of Spain. In Tabernas there is the Plataforma Solar de Almería. France's Michelin operates an industrial research centre in Cabo de Gata; the Paleolithic Age of Almería was characterized by small hunter-gatherer groups. The oldest Paleolithic site is Zájara Cave I in the Caves of the Almanzora; the first villages and spaces dedicated to burials appear by the Neolithic Age, before the Upper Paleolithic Age. The cave paintings of the Cave of the Signs and twenty other caves and shelters of Los Vélez are dated to this era, were designated a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1989. In one of the shelters of the first settlers of the peninsula, the Coat of the Beehives, there remains a human figure with arms outstretched holding an arc above its head.
According to legend, this picture represents a covenant made by prehistoric man with the gods to prevent future floods. It is the earliest depiction of the Almerían Indalo, named in memory of Saint Indaletius, means Indal Eccius in the Iberian language. Over the years, the Indalo has become the best known symbol of Almería; some see this figure as a man holding a rainbow, but it might be an archer pointing a bow towards the sky. The Indalo lent its name to the artistic and intellectual movement of the Indalianos led by Jesús de Perceval and Eugenio d'Ors, a movement of nostalgic attraction by the people of Mojácar; the people of Mojácar painted Indalos with chalk on the walls of their houses to guard against storms and the Evil Eye. It was Luis Siret y Cels, an eminent Belgium archaeologist, that described the rich prehistoric wealth of Almería that of the Metal Age. Siret said that Almería was like "an open-air museum". Indeed, Almería is home to two of the most important cultures of the Metal Age in the peninsula: Los Millares and El Argar.
The earliest known city, Los Millares, dates to the Copper Age and is strategically located on a spur of rock between the Andarax River and the Huéchar Ravine, in the southern part of the province. It was a down of more than a thousand inhabitants, protected by three lines of walls and towers, had an economy based on copper metallurgy, animal husbandry, hunting on a moderate scale. Furthermore, they constructed a large necropolis and exported metal figures and pottery to a large part of the peninsula; the influential culture of El Argar appeared during the Bronze Age. They developed a characteristic form of pottery, the vaso campaniforme that spread throughout all of Northern Spain, their cemeteries were more advanced with respect to the culture of Los Millares and they had diverse agricultural production and animal husbandry. The rich customs and Fiestas of the denizens retain links deep into the past, unto the Moors, the Romans, the Greeks, the Phoenicians. During the taifa era, it was ruled by the Moor Banu al-Amiri from 1012 to 1038 annexed by Valencia given by Zaragoza to the Banu Sumadih dynasty until its conquest by the Almoravids in 1091.
Some centuries it became part of the kingdom of Granada. List of municipalitie