The week ahead courtesy of BBC Sky at Night
The week ahead courtesy of BBC Sky at Night
We’re really looking forward to these trips where we will watch while the sun sets and the full Moon rises at almost the same time! It promises to be spectacular and an opportunity for some great photos. We’ll study the Moon up close in our telescope and check out where Apollo 11 landed 50 years ago! Dates in March and June have already gone.
It’s funny the things you come across when gazing out into the Universe. This nebula in the constellation of Orion is aptly called the Monkey’s Head. I took this in 2018 and will be hoping to have another go at it next month.
According to a recent Government study into tourism on Tenerife, fewer than 2.6% of holidaymakers experience a stargazing excursion. So many people are missing out on a truly remarkable experience and the Government are committed to do more to promote stargazing. They also plan to improve the facilities in the National Park and to better regulate excursion operators, something we would certainly welcome. However, part of the attraction of stargazing in the National Park is the opportunity to go somewhere very dark and secluded where you can see the night sky at its best, so any strategy to increase visitor numbers needs to include the need to control light pollution and prevent damage to this unique environment.
The Orion constellation is prominent in our winter skies and an area of the sky that is chock full of colourful nebulae, galaxies, clusters and stars. Nebulae with such colourful names as The Cosmic Bat, Horsehead, The Running Man, Casper the Friendly Ghost and the Witchhead. This picture we took earlier this week with a standard DSLR camera shows what’s hiding from the naked eye but which can be seen on one of our excursions through our telescope or by using a camera. Click here for the high-res version and make sure you zoom in! https://flic.kr/p/2eAfTfg
Everyone loves a good sunset and Tenerife has some of the very best, especially when you’re on the mountain above the Mar de Nubes (sea of clouds). Here’s some of our favourite sunset shots from previous excursions:
I came across this picture today from March 2018. It shows the ethereal Zodiacal Light stretching up towards the beautiful star cluster The Pleiades (or Seven Sisters). This is caused by sunlight illuminating interplanetary dust in the solar system and is only seen in Spring and Autumn. Althought faint, it can be seen with the naked eye from a dark place, the amazing thing about this photo is that it can be seen despite the very obvious light pollution from Puerto de la Cruz below. A testament to Tenerife’s very clear skies once you get above the clouds.
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).
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 anyone else. Unfortunately we can’t because there really isn’t anyone else who does what we consider to be proper stargazing excursions.
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.
So the star-gazing gods smiled on us in NE UK and the night was mostly clear for the eclipse. Here is a sequence of shots that I took with my DSLR.
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!
A unique opportunity to see the famous Tenerife sunset above the sea of clouds followed by the rise of a “super” full Moon. 21st March, don’t miss it!
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
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?