Ice at the Roque

February 22, 2017

Yesterday I went to work as a tour guide at the observatory. At 9a .m. it was 6 ºC, but the ice from overnight was still there, glistening inthe sunlight. Fortunately the road was almost completely clear.


Update on the Large Size Telescope

Large Size Telescope site on 03/01/17, Roque de Los Muchachos, Garafia ,La Palma,. The bases for the maintenance tower and the telecope itself seem to be almost complete.
January 4, 2017

This is how the Large Size Telescope site looked yesterday. The big circular base for the telescope seems to be almost complete, as does the square base for the tower. The telescopes either side of the LST site and a little in front of it are the two MAGIC telescopes, which are similar to the way the finished LST will look. You can read more about the MAGIC and why…


Rocks on the Road

Rocks on the road to the Roque de Los Muchachos
November 26, 2016

La Palma is the steepest inhabited island in the wold, so it’s in a losing battle with gravity. Sometimes rocks fall on the road, particularly after heavy rain, a freeze or a thaw. (Of course the last two only happen at high altitude.) Normally the roads get cleared pretty quickly, but the road to the observatory takes a little longer, maybe a day and a half. Then you get to…


Equinox sunrise behind the Roque

Sunrise behind the Roque de Los Muchachos at the equinox
September 21, 2016

  A remarkable number of the archeological sites on La Palma line up with astronomical calendar events: particularly sunrise or sunset at the solstice or equinox, and the rising and setting of the star Canopus. In 2013 I went with a group of friends to one of these sites to see the sun rise behind the highest point of the island, the Roque de Los Muchachos. It meant an early start,…