Winter in the UK offers crisp, dark and cold skies – perfect for stargazing but there’s just too much cloud this year. I can’t wait to get back to Tenerife’s clear skies – we’ve still got six weeks to go until our 2019 season starts but our booking list is filling up rapidly and we’re really looking forward to welcoming new guests to the beauty of the unique Tenerife astroscape. We’ve also got some guests from last year coming back again and that’s really going to be fun.
New for this year we have some better equipment and a unique offering to watch the sun set into the sea and the full moon rise out of the sea at the same time. There aren’t many places in the world where you can do this and the photos will be awesome!
Clear skies everyone and remember to keep looking up!
We’ve recently had a number of bookings for the October school holidays and only have a few dates left. If you are hoping to book with us then please get in touch straight away. (Please note we do not increase our prices during school holidays). Happy stargazing!
Whilst we have been closed we have received many enquiries from people trying to find someone that does what we do and asking if we can recommend another stargazing guide. Unfortunately we can’t because there really isn’t anyone else who does what we consider to be proper stargazing tours.
Come with us and you won’t have to settle for “stargazing in a layby” beside a busy main road or having to queue for a quick look through a telescope while trying not to be blinded by headlights, our trips will take you to the really dark spots where you will have as much time as you like with our powerful telescope. Enjoy a leisurely, delicious tapas buffet and complimentary drinks while we watch the sunset, instead of wasting time in a cheap restaurant eating cheap food. Don’t queue at a bus stop for a tour coach or Transit Van mini-bus, enjoy comfortable transport directly from your accommodation at times to suit you in our roomy SUV that will whisk you up the mountain in half the time.
We only operate small group, bespoke trips so we can fully concentrate on what you want to do. You will have more time under the stars, see more, learn more and have a more immersive experience with us than with any other excursion company and don’t forget that we are approved by the Tenerife Tourist Board so you can be sure you are booking with a legitimate excursion operator, not one of the rogue traders out there.
I’m back in the UK at the moment and hoping the weather will remain clear until the main eclipse starts in a couple of hours. I have my gear ready and I’m hoping to be able to catch a sequence of pictures during the eclipse showing the change of brightness and colour of the Moon as it passes through the Earth’s shadow like this one from 2015. Fingers crossed!
A unique stargazing opportunity to see the famous Tenerife sunset above the sea of clouds followed by the rise of a full Moon while the shadow of the Earth passes over it in a partial eclipse. 16th July, don’t miss it! Happy stargazing!
The next couple of days sees the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower. January 3, 4 – Quadrantids Meteor Shower. The Quadrantids is an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at its peak. It is thought to be produced by dust grains left behind by an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was discovered in 2003. The shower runs annually from January 1-5. It peaks this year on the night of the 3rd and morning of the 4th. The moon will be a thin crescent and should not interfere with what could be a good show this year. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, but can appear anywhere in the sky. Credit www.seasky.org
Checking where the core of the Milky Way will be with guest Pierre before setting up for an evening of astrophotography. A really enjoyable night with good company. Such a great picture by Pierre’s girlfriend of us both deep in concentration.
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.
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