Happy 30th birthday to the Observatory

Looking at the surface of the sun inside the giant kaleidoscope, IAC exhibition, Santa Cruz de La Palma
September 20, 2015

  Happy 30th birthday to the Observatory at the Roque de Los Muchachos! The official inauguration was in 1985, attended by the royalty from Denmark, Holland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and heads of state of Germany and Ireland. At that time there were only six telescopes on La Palma; now there are 17 of them. To celebrate, the Canarian Astrophysics Institute has a free exhibition in Santa Cruz…

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Seeing the dwarves for free

One of La Palma's dancing dwarves, Santa Cruz
July 10, 2015

  Seeing the dwarves dance in the street is a very different experience from seeing the paid performances. The singers and dancers are very tired, because they’ve been performing all night, and they’re covered in sweat. You’re much more immersed in the experience. Ont he other hand, it’s hard to get a clear view for photos. On the other hand, you’re much, much closer to them. Near the end, people…

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Asteroid Day – free event

Asteroid Day poster
June 29, 2015

  Asteroid Day is the anniversary of the Tunguska event in 1908, when a huge asteroid exploded over Siberia. There will be a free public event on Tuesday 30th of June at 19:00 at Palacio Salazar in Santa Cruz de La Palma. SCHEDULE: 19:00 – Welcome & keynote lecture 19:10 – Talks given by astronomers Speakers: Elena Nordio (Ad Astra La Palma) Vania Lorenzi (Telescopio Nazionale Galileo) Massimo Cecconi (Telescopio…

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Fiesta de La Cruz 2015

A hairdresser and customer mayos
May 3, 2015

  It’s Fiesta de la Cruz again. I was really busy this year, so I just went for a quick look at Calle Rodriguez Lopez, the street in Santa Cruz where they have all the mayos. As always, it was fun. This year they had a theme of jobs and professions.

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The Santa Maria

  Back when I worked for the observatory, we ocassionally gave visiting astronomers a lift up to the mountaintop. I always enjoyed detouring past the replica of Christopher Columbus’s ship, the Santa Maria, partly to see the visitor’s reaction. Astronomer: “What on earth is that!?” Me: It’s a concrete ship in the middle of the road. What’s it look like?” Astronomer: “Concrete!?” One astronomer even begged us to stop, so…

April 11, 2015
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A quick visit to Santa Cruz

The famous balconies in Santa Cruz de La Palma
November 4, 2014

  Cruise ships regularly call into Santa Cruz de La Palma, and I thought people might like suggestions on what to see while they’re here. Of course it might be useful to people staying elsewhere on the island, too. The Tourist Information Office is a distinctive glass building, right outside the entrance to the port, and the staff are very good. But it does tend to attract longish queues when…

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