Izaña and Las Cañadas

 

The Teide Observatory with the moon rising.
The Teide Observatory with the moon rising. Larger buildings from left to right: Gregor, Mons, OGS.

Today we drove from Puerto de la Cruz over the top of Tenerife, down to Los Cristianos to catch the ferry home. I took the chance to detour past the Izaña observatory, although the public aren’t allowed inside.

Like La Palma, the trade winds create excellent observing conditions on the windward side of Tenerife. The observatory is above the clouds, where the air is very clean and dry, and there is very little turbulence. Since Tenerife has a much bigger population, it has more light pollution (still less than most of the UK!) but that’s no problem for daytime observing. So the Teide Observatory consists of important solar telescopes plus teaching telescopes, plus a microwave telescope. I still hope to get inside someday.

The Teide Observatory with Mt Teide behind.
The Teide Observatory with Mt Teide behind. 

I would have loved to stop for photos of the national park at Las Cañadas on the shoulders of Teide, especially once the afternoon light turned golden, but I was getting worried about the time. As it turned out, we got to the dock with only 20 minutes to spare.

We saw the sun setting behind La Palma from the ferry on the way home.

Sunset behind La Palma from the ferry.
Sunset behind La Palma from the ferry.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

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