Observatory Open Days for 2008

Traditionally, the observatory has been open to visitors about 4 days per year, with perhaps 6 groups for each day. This year, they’re going to have 20 open days, but most of them will only have one group. Each visit starts at 9:45 with a visit to the MAGIC gamma-ray telescope, followed by one other telescope, and finishes before 12.00. DATE Day 2nd telescope 8th July Tues WHT or INT…

July 7, 2008

Visiting the Observatory

GranTeCan, the huge new Spanish telescope La Palma is home to one of the three most important astronomical observatories in the world. (The other two are Hawaii and the Atacama desert in Chile.) The observatory sits at the top of the island, at the Roque de los Muchachos. It’s a fascinating place to visit, but it’s not normally open to tourists – they’re too busy doing science. You can visit…

June 21, 2008

Tour Guiding again

May 9, 2008

This morning I took a party of kids around the Herschel Telescope. It was the first time for about 6 months, so I felt rusty, but it went fairly well. It really helped that the tech staff moved the dome and telescope for us. The bad part was that I’d forgotten how cold the wind can be up there, and I wasn’t dressed for it at all.


The Observatory

Gran Telescopio Canarias, or GTC, the biggest optical telescope in the world, Roque de Los Muchachos observatory, La Palma
February 10, 2008

  Twinkling stars are pretty, but astronomers would much rather they didn’t. The twinkle is caused by movement in the air above you (the same as a mirage on very hot days) and it stops the astronomers getting a clear view. The Hubble Telescope gets such wonderfully clear images because it’s out of the atmosphere altogether. But there’s only one Hubble, and it cost a fortune. So they build ground-based…