Time for a rest

I’ve been rather overdoing it, just for a change. On Sunday afternoon I took delivery of a hire car so I could meet an English travel agent at the airport on Sunday evening. She was really nice, and interested in organising a spring nature holiday for UK clients. I had a very long day with her on Monday, from 9 am to 8:20 pm. We went to Astrolapalmna (not planned,…

March 18, 2016

Filming in the GTC

Sheila Crosby and a 38,000 € camera inside GTC, La Palma
August 10, 2015

On Wednesday, after watching la subida de la virgen, I had a fun job, helping to film an advert for Jaguar inside the GTC. They’re going to digitally add Stephen Hawking into the ad later. My part was much less glamourous than it sounds. All I did was remind people of the safety rules and liase between the film crew and the telescope staff. Well, I also answered a bunch…


Painting a telescope

Painting the tower of the Swedish Solar Telescope, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, La Palma
August 7, 2015

Yesterday I showed a group around the WHT, and I noticed that the Swedish Solar Telescope is being repainted. (Follow the link for more about the telescope.)


Izaña part 2: stargazing

Venus and Jupiter and a different telescope, Izaña, Tenerife
July 21, 2015

  Since I got there early, I got a chance to try to photograph the nearest star – our Sun, through a small telescope with a filter which lets through a wavelength called H? (pronounced H alpha). It was tricky. I’m pretty short sighted, and I can’t see well with my glasses squdged up against the viewfinder. For normal stargazing, I take my glasses off and refocus the telescope, but…


New enormous Cherenkov telescopes

The observatory at the Roque de Los Muchachos at night. Credit: Daniel Lopez. ASCII Kolor stitching | 4 pictures | Size: 8667 x 4915 | FOV: 120.27 x 68.20 ~ 24.43 | RMS: 2.75 | Lens: Standard | Projection: Spherical | Color: LDR |
July 18, 2015

  It’s not quite a done deal, but it looks as though La Palma will be getting another 20 Chrenkov telescopes. The board of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) met on the 15th and 16th of July, and decided that their two preferred sitres are La Palma and Chile (near the Paranal observatory). Negotiations will now start with the site owners, and are expected to take 6 months. Meanwhile, they’ll…


A visit to Izaña: part 1 Solar laboratory

The pyramid solar laboratory, Teide Observatory, Izana, Tenerife
July 16, 2015

  I was lucky enough to be able to join the belated Solstice dinner held by the Association of Starlight Guides on Tenerife. It was great to meet so many of my collegues, but best of all, the dinner as held in the Teide Observatory. I’ve been wanting to have a look inside for at least 5 years. It meant an early start. I needed the car to move around,…