Rock Art

A wet, spiral rock carving at La Zarzita, Garafia, La Palma island
November 24, 2015

I’ve been having fun hunting up the local rock art with an archeologist from Northumbria. There’s lots of it, but while the rock art from the North Pennines is about 5,000 – 3,000 years old, the Palmeran art is much newer at 1,200 – 500 years old. We went to El Verde near El Paso cemetery, where most of the carvings line up with midsummer sunset or midwinter sunset (well,…

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Thieving Ravens!

A raven getting curious about Sheila Crosby's books, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
October 4, 2015

On Saturday I was in the Roque car park selling books from the boot of my car, when the ravens turned up, begging for food. That’s why I keep cat food in the car, specially for them. Then they got curious about the boot of my car and the books. I started to get a bit nervous when s/ze took an interest in my pot of change. That’s the black…

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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…

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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 http://www.thebestclimateintheworld.com/geminidas 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…

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San Jose soap box race

San Jose soap box race
September 22, 2015

When I heard that the road outside our house was going to be closed for a go-kart race, I was picturing loads of very noisy karts snarling past. Frankly, I was congratulating myself that it was due to finish at 7pm. One year the regular rally went on until midnight, and the noise drove me crazy. But this was great – motorless karts rolling down the hill, some cheap and…

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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. SkyCenter.Arizona.edu 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…

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