Starlit Skies

Galaxy M51 taken with the Isaac Newton Telescope and Wide Field Camera by Simon Driver
September 24, 2016

  There’s a really simple reason why the Royal Greenwich Observatory moved their telescopes here. It’s one of the three best places in the world for astronomy. The observatory was founded in 1675 by Charles II of England – hence the “royal” for £520 (£20 over budget!). It was the first purpose-built scientific research facility in Britain. At the time, Greenwich was a great place to build it – away…


More on the Large Size Telescope foundations

A digger working on the LST foundations, seen through MAGIC II, Roque de Los Muchachos, Garafia, La Palma island
August 24, 2016

Well now they’ve got 1 digger, 1 bulldozer, and 1 dumper truck levelling out the site. Now that the site is earth rather than cut bushes, it’s clearly visible from higher up. And of course it’s very noticeable from the helipad nearest to the MAGIC.  


Foundations for the Large Sized Telescope

Digging foundations for the Large Size Telescope, Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
August 17, 2016

  The digger’s started wotk on the foundations for the Large Size Telescope I gather the plan is to dig down 3 m, which is less than I’d thought for such a big structure. But the the MAGIC telescope is very light for its size, so perhaps the LST will be too. Cross posted to


Work starts on the Large Size Telescope

July 29, 2016

The plaque from the first stone ceremony Work has finally started on the Large Size Telescope. The first stone ceremony was held on October 9th. This week the bushes have been cut down ready for the bulldozers to move in. Like the MAGIC, the LST will be a huge Cherenkov telescope (looking for gamma rays from space) with a mirror 23m across. The larger mirror will enable it to see fainter…


Starlight, Beyond Light Pollution 2016

July 3, 2016

This year’s conference on light pollution will take place from 4th-6th of July. Most people think the problem of light pollution begins and ends with astonomers not seeing stars. The stars are beautiful, and we all lose when we can’t see them, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s a waste of money to send light where you don’t need it. The wasted light causes serious problems for…