The new GOTO telescope

The first GOTO dome at Roque de Los Muchachos observatory on La Palma.
July 3, 2017

Today the GOTO telescope was inaugurated on La Palma. It’s a smallish telescope to try to find the where gravitational waves come from. That is, there are three gravitational wave detectors called LIGO Hanson (in Washington State, USA), LIGO Livingston (in Louisiana, USA) and VIRGO (in Italy) which are about 3,000 km apart, and a third one nearing completion elsewhere. Between them, they can detect gravitational waves and get a…

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A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

May 2, 2017

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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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…

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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.

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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…

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