Archaeology at the Roque de los Muchachos

A spiral rock carving, Roque de los Muchachos, Garafia, La Palma
April 17, 2017

For centuries, goatherds have brought their flocks to the Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the island of La Palma. As the lower pastures dried out in summer, they moved to fresh pastures on higher ground. These days, farmers can drive home for the night, but of course that wasn’t the case 50 years ago, much less 500 years ago. They came up some time in June, and…

Read More >>

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.

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>

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…

Read More >>