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….

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Stargazing in El Paso

The old moon in the arms of the new, Virgen del Pino, El Paso, La Palma
April 21, 2015

On Monday and Tuesday I showed a journalist around for the Tourist Board. On Monday night we went stargazing with Astrolapalma. I loved it. Agustín was very enthusiastic, and now I understand why people enjoy my enthusiasm so much. We started off just after sunset, and we had a lovely view of the old moon in the arms of the new. That’s the poetic name for when you can see…

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Archaeology at the Roque de los Muchachos

  For centuries, goatherds have brought their flocks to the Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the island of La Palma. As the lower pastures dried out in summer, they moved to fresh pastures on higher ground. These days, farmers can drive home for the night, but of course that wasn’t the case 50 years ago, much less 500 years ago. They came up some time in June,…

April 21, 2015
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BOOKS in English

The cover of the second edition of "A Breathtaking Window on the Universe"
January 18, 2015

A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: A guide to the observatory at the Roque de los Muchachos SECOND EDITION” (Non-Fiction).   by Sheila M. Crosby Paperback, 164 pages A5 (16 more than the first edition) Welcome to the Roque de Los Muchachos, where 16 telescopes from 19 nations use the best night sky in Europe to explore the cosmos. Find out what it’s like to work in this strange world…

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Planet Birth

Planets forming around a star
November 7, 2014

  The Alma radio telescope took this amazing picture of planets forming around the sun-like star, HL Tau. This is a baby star, less than a million years old, which is 450 light years from Earth in the constellation Taurus. And the disc of dust and gas around the star is already forming planets and asteroids – that’s what makes the dark rings in the brighter dust. It’s the first…

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The sun at different wavelenths

sun_wavelengths.jpg
September 23, 2014

  Light is made of electromagnetic waves, and our eyes see different wavelengths as different colours. But our eyes can’t see most wavelengths at all, which is a pity – think how different the human body looks when you see it in x-rays. This is the sun at 13 different wavelengths.

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