We’ve just heard that Dark Skies Tenerife has been accepted onto the Canarian Government’s General Tourism Register and is now an approved and registered tour company. A great start for 2019!🚀
After such a successful year we are now taking a break until March 2019. Thank you to everyone who came on one of trips for making it so enjoyable.
We are now taking bookings for 2019 so why not treat someone this Christmas?
I don’t think I’ve seen so many cars on the mountain as there were for last night’s peak of the Perseids and there were probably as many again that couldn’t find anywhere to park and were driving down off the mountain as we were driving up. Even our favourite and secluded off-road spot, which we normally have to ourselves had several visitors but we were able to find our own space, the advantage of off-road capability and knowledge of the tracks the beekeepers and hunters use paying off. The weather has not been kind with a storm hanging over the island with rain and lightning threatened and indeed we did get a short shower at one point but this soon cleared. Luckily though the part of the sky with the least clouds tended to be around Cassiopea which was ideal for seeing Perseids and we saw quite a few although nothing like the shower a fully clear sky might have given us. Half a dozen or so were of the “wow” variety; relatively long and bright but the majority were short and extremely fast. The green colour of these meteors was very prominent although there was also a handful of white ones and some that weren’t Perseids at all. It was certainly worth sticking with it, bad weather and all. Photo opportunities were difficult with the constantly changing clouds but we did manage a few successful captures.
A very nice night last night with a guest who wanted to capture long exposures of the Milky Way so Las Canadas was where we went. An incredible 360 degree vista of an ancient volcanic crater with a quite stunning Milky Way overhead never disappoints. Being a Saturday night and close to the peak of the Perseids the mountain was extremely busy but with a lovely party atmosphere about it. There was excellent visibility and the sky was steady, the ISS put in an appearance and we were treated to a handful of very impressive shooting stars.
Modern smartphones have very good cameras in them that are capable of taking some decent pictures through a telescope eyepiece. We captured this shot of the Moon last night through our 200mm reflector with a Samsung Galaxy S7.
A few nights ago we were in one of our favourite places on the mountain for imaging planets. There was a slight calima so the air was dusty but we still enjoyed our time. There is a global dust storm covering Mars at the moment so not much detail is apparent, hopefully this will change soon as Mars is at its closest since 2003 and is very bright in the sky making it ideal for imaging and observing.
For the next 7 days see all 7 other planets in our solar system through our large telescope in a single night!
After the recent Calima the night sky has returned in all of its glory and we’ve had two very good nights on the mountain imaging the Mily Way with guests. The sky quality, particularly last night was exceptional. Up there again tonight for more of the same. Clear skies!
Thank you Astronomy Now magazine for featuring our recent Moon shot! Chuffed!
The possibility of a devastating asteroid strike is now recognised to be a real danger to us all. In 2013 a near earth asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia, damaging buildings and injuring thousands of people. The asteroid was only 20 metres in diameter but exploded with a force 26 to 33 times as much as that released from the atomic bomb detonated at Hiroshima. Most of this energy was absorbed by the atmosphere and had the asteroid reached the ground before it exploded, the damage and injuries would have been significantly greater. This asteroid arrived without warning.
Scientists, astronauts and celebrities are coming together to raise the profile of the danger of a future asteroid strike and to call on world governments to take action now to prepare a defence. The first part of this defence pan is to identify and measure the positions and orbits of all near Earth objects so that future threats can be identified.
Dark Skies Tenerife supports this and we will be answering the call by contributing our time and equipment freely to the search for these near earth objects. This is an area where amateur astronomers can make an important contribution to protecting our planet and Tenerife’s clear skies makes it an ideal place to do this work. If you’re interested in getting involved, sign up to asteroid day or get in touch.
Next week on June 21st is the summer solstice and this is especially special on Tenerife at the pyramids of guimar. It’s a very popular event so book early if you want to experience this. More details here:
27th July will see a full lunar eclipse which will be visible from Tenerife. See here for full details: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/@9845527
We are committed to giving our guests the very best experience and that includes their health and safety. Although it is not a formal requirement to have this we have decided to be specifically trained in outdoor first aid recognising that should medical help on the mountain be required, it may take some time to arrive. We carry a full first aid kit at all times and our activities are risk assessed. We are also registered with the Canary Islands Emergency Services using a system that allows us to call for help even in areas with no mobile phone reception. For those guests looking to travel deep into Las Canadas to watch the stars, Simon is also trained in outdoor navigation and a volunteer ranger with the Northumberland National Park. Safe skies!
The Perseid meteor shower, one of the brighter meteor showers of the year, occurs every year between July 17 and August 24. The shower tends to peak around August 9-13 with 50-60 meteors per hour and bright fireballs are common. The Moon is new this year so the shower will be an extra special one. We are already taking bookings for this popular time so book early to avoid being disappointed!