Watching the Super Lunar Eclipse

The lunar eclipse of 28/09/2015 from La Palma. Credit: Sheila Crosby
September 29, 2015

Well, I saw it! It was cloudy at low altitudes, so I was glad I’d joined the bus going up to Pico de La Cruz with a group of about 16 people from Astrofest. Since buses get a lot more expensive after midnight, the organiser was persuaded to have the bus drop us off shortly after 11 pm, so it would be “home” by midnight, even though it meant a…


Tonight’s Lunar Eclipse

The Moon blood red because it's completely inside the Earth's shadow.
September 27, 2015

The Canarian Tourist Board will be live streaming tonight’s lunar eclipse at Just to remind you, the moon is at almost its closest approach to the Earth, so it’s will be a supermoon – noticeably bigger than usual. There are two parts to the Earth’s shadow: the penumbra is the outer part, and the umbra is the much darker inner part. Penumbral Eclipse begins 28 Sep, 00:11:47 The penumbral…


The science of eclipses

The Moon blood red because it's completely inside the Earth's shadow.
September 13, 2015

In the early hours of September 28th there will be a particularly spectacular lunar eclipse when the moon will be 10% closer to the Earth and larger than usual – a super moon, in fact. A lunar eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth and Moon are in a straight line, so that the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. If you were standing on the moon when this happened, you’d…


Blood Moons

The Moon blood red because it's completely inside the Earth's shadow.
August 21, 2015

Total Lunar Eclipse April 15th 2014, as seen from the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter. In the early hours of September 28th the moon will plunge into the Earth’s shadow and turn blood red. It’s a perfectly normal event, produced by the combined orbits of the earth and moon and the effect of the Earth’s atmosphere bending the sunlight like a lens, but it’s dramatic and spooky, and if you didn’t…


“Astrofest La Palma” opens the doors for registration.

Nightscape conference poster
August 1, 2015

  From 25th September 2015 to October 9th, the island of La Palma in the Canaries will host Astrofest, a festival of astronomy, with activities for all ages and knowledge levels. There will be an international conference for astrotourism professionals, a spectacular total eclipse of the moon, an international conference for nightscape photographers, and a night photography masterclass. You can find more details and register for all these events at…


Sunset at the Roque de Los Muchachos

Gran Telescopio Canarias at sunset, Roque de Los Muchachos observatory
April 29, 2015

  The Roque de Los Muchachos is a spectacular place to watch the sunset. For one thing, you’re usually above the clouds (which is one reason the observatory is there.) In fact, sometimes the clouds are so much lower than the Roque that the sun sets well below you. This means that your shadow on a wall is taller than you, and the shadows of your legs go on forever….