Up in the clouds again

I thought the guiding work had dried up, but I was asked to show the Herschel to a group of German amateur astronomers on Saturday.

To begin with, it was embarassing. They already had a guide with them who a) spoke German and b) had guided people around telescopes in Hawaii and Chile and c) had done a heck of a lot of homework on the Internet. So I welcomed people to the telescope with my smidgen of German, apologised for not speaking more, and stood around like a spare part while he reeled off chapter and verse with great enthusiasm. After a while I realised that some members of the party were more interested in my anecdotes than in numbers. So we split into two groups.

On the way down I had a great time photographing first butterflies, then the trees and clouds. It’s a subject I never get tired of, as the combination gives you a chance to capture the scale of subject.

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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