Progess on the Large Size Telescope: May 2018

The massive segmented mirror of the Large Size Telescope and two people in a cherry picker working on the mirror
May 19, 2018

On Thursday I went up to the Roque, and I was surprised by progress on the Large Size Telescope. Every time I see it, it’s more impressive. Most of the mirror segments have been fitted now. I’m looking forward to the day they remove the white covering and replace the reddish brown counterweght with the camera support. I believe the inauguration is planned for October.

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A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

April 30, 2018

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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Visits to the observatory

April 24, 2018

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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Road closures between the observatory and Santa Cruz

March 12, 2018

They’re working on the LP4 road at Los Andennes, near the spectacular view into the Caldera. So the road between the observatory and Santa Cruz will be closed every day in both directions from 09:00 – 13:00 and 16:00 – 19:00.  The road from the Observatory down to Llano Negro in Garafia is not affected. From Santa Cruz this takes about two hours, whether you go through Tijarafe or Barlovento. Allow…

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Progress on the Large Size Telescope: February 2018

Fitting a counterweight to the LST, Feb 2018, Roque de Los Muchachos observatory, La Palma island
February 21, 2018

They’re making great progress on the LST, and I’ve finally managed to get a photo which shows you just how huge it is. It’s one thing to say that the mirror will be 23m across. It’s another to see engineers beside the dish. They’re actually fitting a gigantic counterweight – the huge triangle of dark red metal at the top to the picture. Eventually it will be replaced by the…

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Snow at the Roque

February 14, 2018

On Sunday I had a tour group at the Roque. The direct route from Santa Cruz was closed due to ice, and I had to go up and down the long way around, through Garafía. It made for a long, tiring day, but the scenery was spectacular. The sun had melted much of the snow, except for anything facing north, and the rest had turned to ice (or was ice…

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