Stargazing in El Paso

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

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 not only a slim crecent brightly lit by the sun, but also the rest of the disk lit be light reflected from the Earth. It’¡s rarely as clear as this.

Old people on La Palma will tell you that it means there’s a storm coming. Actually it means that the Earth is more reflective than usual. From La Palma it means that the Altantic is covered with clouds – which generally means that there’s a storm coming.

Old folks are under-rated.

And then as it got darker we took turns at the telescope and saw the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, the Orion/Horsehead Nebula, and the Crab Nebula. All in all it was brilliant.

Stargazing with Astrolapalma, El Paso, La Palma
Stargazing with Astrolapalma

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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