• The Dodo Dragon and other stories
  • The Seer’s Stone
  • About Sheila Crosby
  • A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

Visits to the observatory

The regular morning visits to the observatory are on hiatus due to an administrative problem. I keep hoping they’ll be reorganised soon, and but meanwhile there are some groups available through either elena.nordio@adastralapalma.com. She does night time excursions too, and they get excellent feedback. I can organise groups, but unfortunately it’s only worth my while for groups of at least 10 people.

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The lights went off and the stars switched on

In spite of worries about the weather, Friday night’s “Switch off the lights and switch on the stars” went really well. It was gusty, but there were very few clouds. I did wish I could have blown one off the Pleiades though. I’d hoped for more people (Note to self: next year do more advanced publicity so there’s a bigger crowd.) but I was very glad I’d invested in a…

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Turn on the Stars

Friday is the 11th anniversary of the starlight declaration. To celebrate, street lights will be turned off for an hour starting at 14 locations around the island. Most of the places will have telescopes for the public to look at the stars for free, and live music. I’ll be at Puerto Naos, at the north end of the sea front with my 4″ telescope.

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Samuel Ting being given his star in the San francisco convent in Santa Cruz de La Pama

Another Star of Science

Samuel Ting won the Nobel prize for physics for discovering the subatomic J/? particle. He’s been on La Palma for a conference about the  Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer  which is on the International Space Station. ( It’s looking for  antimatter in cosmic rays, to learn more about dark matter and the formation of the Universe.) The Cabildo (the island council) took the chance to include him in their Stars of Science lineup. The idea is…

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A jade flower

The jade vine or emerald vine Strongylodon macrobotrys, is flowering in the garden at Hacienda de Abajo, Tazacorte. The plant comes from the Philippines, and it’s in the same family as peas and beans. To be picky, I’d say it’s more turquoise than green but it’s certainly very pretty and I’ve never seen one before.

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The oldest part of Puntallana

Puntallana originally grew around the spring of St John the Baptist (San Juan). Today,the spring is still there, but it’s nobody’s drinking water (which is a good thing, seeing as the water’s green.) Still, it’s a peaceful spot to visit, and they still hold a yearly procession where they take the statue of the village’s patron saint, St John the Baptist, to the spring to give thanks for the water….

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