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

A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

I think this is a really good guide book to the observatory on La Palma, but you probably shouldn’t take too much notice of my opinion because I wrote it. On the other hand, the director of the biggest telescope in the world, Pedro Alvarez, likes it too. So do the directors of the William Herschel Telescope and telescopio Nazionale Galileo (the Italian). “A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: A…

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The bell of La Verdad being carried to the naval museum at Santa Cruz de La Palma

The bell of La Verdad finally arrives

I saw the handover ceremony on Thursday evening. They did a good job, bringing an honour guard in 15th century dress. The families of the original builder, owner and captains went onto the ship, together with local politicians and people from the naval museum. Speeches were made and the bell formally handed over from the ship’s captain (on the right) to the mayor of Santa Cruz (on the left). The…

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Another Santa Maria

I was having coffee with a friend on the sea front when she exclaimed, “Oh my God, the naval museum’s set sail!” This was surprising because the naval museum is a concrete copy of Columbus’s Santa Maria, firmly cemented into one end of the Plaza de la Alemeda in Santa Cruz. It’s not going anywhere. In fact the local definition of patience is to have a ticket for when she…

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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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