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Milky Way movie

We shot this timelapse of the Milky Way as it rose in the east from a spot off the Esperanza road. It’s only accessible with a 4×4 and care but the view is fantastic. The lights of Gran Canaria can be seen in the left half of the frame and the glow to the right is from the Granadilla megaport and industrial area. Watch for the brightly lit cruise ship scooting by from right to left. Click on the image to access the movie.

Milky Way rising

Sunset and full Moon rise special

Our next sunset and full Moon rise special is on Friday 19th April when there will be the opportunity to watch the Sun go down on one side of the island and straight after watch a full Moon rise from the sea on the other side. There’ll be plenty of stars to see too and we’ll have our camera to make sure you get some special pics to take home. There aren’t many places where you can experience this and it is very special. Check out the pics below from the last one we did. More details here.

Milky Way!

We had a great night on the mountain in the early hours to catch the rise of the Milky Way and have many pictures to process when we find time. Here are a couple of quick edits showing just how stunning the Milky Way is from Tenerife’s clear skies. Back up tonight with more guests for some stargazing, no rest for the wicked! Clear skies and keep looking up!

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Another super review!

Charlotte and family, March 2019

“Without a doubt, the highlight of our Tenerife trip – Incredible experience with wonderful hosts!
We decided we wanted to find a stargazing tour which was more bespoke than the group tours after reading reviews about having to spend time picking others up from their hotels. I went onto the Trip Advisor Tenerife forum for recommendations and was told by a couple of people to contact Simon from Dark Skies and I’m so pleased we did!

From first point of contact, Simon was incredibly communicative, informative and friendly. He was on email regularly before going out and told me we could coordinate the tour to anywhere we would like to go but due to his extensive knowledge of the Teide area, he knows the best places to see the sunset and watch the stars – I would highly recommended conversing with him on this.

We were picked up by Simon & Margaret outside our apartment in Puerto De La Cruz and drove through La Orotava into the mountains and up to the peaks of Tenerife overlooking Mount Teide. At the first stop we spent a wonderful time watching the sunset, relaxing with delicious home cooked tapas, cava & red wine whilst overlooking the most spectacular views ever!

Simon is also a great photographer and has his own SLR camera, which meant we were also able to take some high resolution family & landscape photos, which we can now blow up and frame.

I can’t thank them enough for providing us with not only a highly professional service but wonderful whole personal experience. Simon & Margaret were very warm, fun company to have there and Simon’s knowledge is incredible! We also loved all the various facts they both gave us about the Volcano, Stargazing and on Tenerife history too.

Our next stop was to watch the stars at night and look at the moon through the telescope. We were the only people there and it was incredibly atmospheric looking up at the stars. Margaret was a wonderful host and made sure we were warm, provided with deserts and made sure we had plenty of hot drinks & blankets later in the evening.

Their fees are also very reasonable and near the same price as the group coach tours – without all the fuss of picking people up and having the share the telescope with lots of others!

This is a perfect tour for couples, families of all ages and individuals looking for a really special, and more personally tailored, trip to Teide and evening stargazing.”

We will definitely be doing another tour with them when next in Tenerife and look forward to seeing them again!

Zodiacal light, Teide with snow and the Milky Way

On a recent trip up the mountain we were lucky enough to see the ethereal Zodiacal Light reaching up to the Milky Way. Note the snow on Teide too, it was very cold and we were pleased for the blankets and hot drinks. This phenomenon is only visible from the darkest, clearest skies a couple of times of the year.

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Sunset and Super Moon rise report

What a fabulous night! Apart from welcoming back guests Stuart and Marie for their second experience, Tenerife offered up another special night. A stunning drive through Las Canadas during the “golden hour” before sunset showed off the lava formations and colours to their absolute best and every turn of the road brought another breathtaking sight into view. Stuart and Marie know the borders and highlands of Scotland well and we’re from Northumberland which also has some very beautiful and unspoiled landscapes but we all agreed that Las Canadas is something quite special. It’s just so different, so obviously volcanic and rugged and savage looking, yet it displays beautiful colours and majestic rock formations and the scale of it is breathtaking. When you look a little more closely though, there is vegetation thriving almost everywhere and soon the bee keepers will be moving the hives from lower altitudes into the crater to take advantage of the spring flowers that will soon colour the crater floor. Another of Tenerife’s surprises.

Then the sunset was excellent, with Teide dominating the skyline and the Sun sinking into a very busy sea of clouds with the two humps of the island of La Palma in the background looking on and then there were the oddly shaped clouds that amassed alongside Teide, looking like a weird flying pack of alien jellyfish. Plenty to talk about during the cava and a delicious picnic before we drove to a spot that overlooked the east coast and with the lights of the island of Gran Canaria visible in the dusk way below us, the most incredible Moon began to rise. At the beginning it was the colour of a blood orange as just a sliver was visible between the sea and a thin line of cloud but soon it was fully up and so big, bright and orange it looked more like the sunset we’d just witnessed on the other side of the island than the Moon rising. It was breathtakingly impressive and a definite “wow” moment. This was the last so called “super moon” of the year, when the Moon is closer in its orbit to Earth than normal, so it appears a bit larger and a bit brighter. This one certainly did that. As it appears so close the Spring Equinox (and the first to do this for thirty years), it gets the nickname of the “worm Moon” supposedly as earthworms can only start to surface from the ground once winter is over and the ground has thawed. No doubt an ancient name given when people were more connected to nature. As the Moon rose, it began to take shape, albeit malformed due to the clouds and thermals of the atmosphere low to the horizon and the features of the Moon were apparent in sharp contrast.

Whilst we also gazed at the constellations, the fabulous Orion Nebula and The Pleiades through binoculars and telescope, saw a meteor and some satellites, the star of the show was undoubtedly the Moon. Once fully risen and steady in the sky, we zoomed in on it with the telescope (using a very strong polarising filter to avoid risk of eye damage) and saw craters close up and in high relief but nothing surpassed those minutes watching the Moon rise up from the sea. I’ve seen the Moon rise many times and if I never see it again, I don’t care because I’m happy to have seen this one and won’t ever forget it.

 

Stunning new locations for stargazing

I spent an enjoyable day yesterday on the mountain hunting out new spots for stargazing with our guests. Found three absolute crackers with wonderful scenery and best of all they are well away from the main roads, headlights and places where the other tour companies go. Off-road locations aren’t sign posted and are generally only accessible with a 4×4 with good ground clearance. They’re often not for the faint hearted but the reward when you find one is usually spectacular. Super-thrilled to have found these and can’t wait to take some guests there. Check out this amazing backdrop to one of the spots.

We love taking people stargazing and we love that they love it too!

March 2019 – had a fantastic tour experience with Dark Skies Tenerife. From word go they were professional and responsive to my pre-holiday emails. I wanted to find a private tour that would be flexible with my timings as we have young children. Simon and Margaret were so helpful in accommodating my requests. The trip itself was amazing. We stopped at a lovely viewpoint with Teide and other volcanos to enjoy a wonderfully prepared tapas picnic with cava whilst watching the sunset. When ready we continued on up the mountain to a high remote spot for our stargazing experience. Here we were treated to some knowledgeable insight into the sky above us. Simon used his laser pointer to describe the various constellations and nebulas and we also benefited from being able to get close up views with an incredibly powerful telescope. The commentary and insight provided us with a really good understanding of the night sky and was exteremely enjoyable. Simon was knowledgable and entertaining and the hours zipped by. I would highly recommend this tour. Particularly good if you don’t want to be bothered with driving round lots of hotels for pick ups and want a tour that is both informative and entertaining. Thank you Simon and Margaret. Liz

Photo gallery

We just added a photo gallery to our site to showcase our best images. If you want to learn how to take great pictures like these, get in touch.

Check out our pics here

Milky Way season photography trips

The Dark Skies Tenerife Photography experience – take the opportunity to image the Milky Way under some of the best skies in the world! We will pick you up at your hotel, take you to the El Teide National Park for 2 hours of nightscape photography in several locations and then bring you back to your hotel. Overall duration will be around 4 hours. We provide a full frame DSLR with several lens options, remote trigger, a couple of tripods and a star tracking mount. You can of course bring your own equipment. Full instruction is available to ensure you get those wow shots and we can even post-process them for you.

Cost is £100pp. Max group size will be 4. Hot and cold drinks included.

Discounts are available for groups and repeat bookings, please enquire.

A look ahead to March skies

The month ahead with thanks to Dave Eagle:

March sky guide

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What’s up this week?

The week ahead courtesy of BBC Sky at Night. Happy stargazing!

http://e.skyatnightmagazine.com/q/1filIDOhWNdHBUVBDnwHHln/wv

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Sunset and Moon rise special

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. Happy stargazing!

More details here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sunset-and-full-moonrise-special-tour-tickets-54277129355

El Teide casts a shadow at sunset
Full moon

Monkey’s Head anyone?

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. Happy stargazing!

A Monkey’s head floating in space

Tenerife holidaymakers missing out?

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.

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In the dark

So many stars!

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. Happy stargazing!

Click here for the high-res version and make sure you zoom in! https://flic.kr/p/2eAfTfg

Beautiful sunsets

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:

Happy stargazing!

The ethereal Zodiacal Light

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. Happy stargazing and I hope you get to see it!

Missing the dark skies of Tenerife?

I am!

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!

Bookings for October half-term school holidays

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!