A Supernova near Ursa Major

January 30, 2014

  A new supernova has been spotted just 12 light years away in M 82, the Cigar galaxy, which is between Ursa Major (the Great Bear or Big Dipper) and Ursa Minor. It’s a type 1a supernova, which is what happens when a white dwarf sucks gas from a companion red giant, until the white dwarf reaches 1.4 solar masses (the Chandrasekhar mass) when the core becomes hot enough to…


Monday’s eclipse seen from a plane

Solar eclipse seen from a plane
November 7, 2013

  This was photographed from a plane flying at 13,300 m going 800 km/h, 960 km southeast of Bermuda. In order to get the eclipse to one side of the plane, they flew across the path of totality, rather than along it. This required split-second timing, since the shadow on the moon moves across the Earth’s surface at 12,800 km/h. The photographer, Ben Cooper, isn’t sure whether this is totality…


Partial Solar Eclipse on Sunday

On November 3rd 2013 there will be a partial solar eclipse. Well, it’s a total eclipse in some places and an annual eclipse in others, ubt fromteh Canary Islands we get a partial eclipse. 40% of the sun will be covered by the moon at 12:15 pm. From the UK there won’t be anything to see. Do NOT look directly at the sun. You might go blind. There are two…

November 2, 2013

Solar Eclipse Nov 3rd UPDATE

Eclipse path
October 27, 2013

  UPDATE: There are two places where you’ll be able to observe the eclipse safely. Astrolapalma will hold a free event at Llano de las Brujas from 10:30-1:30 pm, and Astrotour will hold an event costing 2€ per person at the ecological banana plantation EcoFinca Platanologico from 11 am – 1 pm. Do NOT look directly at the sun. You might go blind. On November 3rd 2013 there will be…


Autumn equinox

Come to San Antonio volcano visitor centre and see La Palma’s “Stonehenge” mark the autumn equinox on Sunday night at 7:30 pm. Stonehenge is a bit of an overstatement, of course, but the modern astronomical marker at the visitor centre works the same way as Stonehenge. As the sun sets at the equinox, the shadow of one stone reaches another. (Different stones make shadows which reach the marker stone at…

September 21, 2013

Partial lunar eclipse

Multiple exposure of the partial lunar eclipse, 25/04/13Photo: Ana Garcia
April 27, 2013

  Partial Lunar eclipses are quite common. Photos like this aren’t. It was taken by Ana Garcia of AstroLaPalma.com, who offer observations (tours or private), telescope rental, the  “Los Indianos” tour in Santa Cruz de La Palma and tailored astronomy travel packages.