Focuser upgrade

Today I did some work on our venerable but superb Skywatcher 200ps Newtonian telescope, adding a motorised focus control unit to make it easier to get a really good focus. I took the opportunity to attach the Canon 1100D DSLR to the focuser with a t2 spacer and tested it to make sure we had enough back focus for it. It’s all ready for imaging now. Happy stargazing!

Talking stargazing with astronomers at the International Astronomy Show

We had a great time at this year’s IAS at Stoneleigh Park and met a lot of very nice people who asked us lots of questions.

A common question for us was how does the weather on the mountain differ throughout the year? Well, here is the monthly average data from the Observatory site at Izana at 2367m altitude.  Minimum average monthly temperatures range between 0.9 degrees C in January to 14 degrees C in July/August.


Wind chill is always factor that can make temperatures feel lower and here is the last 12 months of daily average wind speeds. These are measured at the observatory site which is very exposed. The yearly average recorded was 12Km/h.


The other question was about cloud cover. We were quoting a yearly average of about 80% or 292 days per year and I’m sure a few people may have thought we might be exaggerating slightly. Our information isn’t anecdotal, it is from data published by the Institute of Astronomy of the Canaries (IAC) – An extract from the report follows:

We have exploited the European Climate Assessment & Dataset series of day time oktas of cloud cover at Izaña Observatory, Tenerife (Spain), to estimate the useful time at Teide Observatory. The data cover a period of 68 years (1933–2000). The useful time, considered as the sum of days classified as clear and partially cloudy, ranges between 94% in summer and 69% in autumn, with an average value of 81%. The clearest month is July and the cloudiest is November.


The clearest months unsurprisingly are in the summer but even the poorest month, November manages 20 useful days (plus or minus 6 days) which is probably better than the best month in the UK (whichever that is!).

Another reason why Tenerife is probably the best dark sky location in Europe!

















Why Brian May wants his ashes to be scattered under the stars on Tenerife

Rock star Brian May on why Tenerife is heaven

Tenerife gets stargazing destination award

Light fantastic: Tenerife is named one of the best places for tourists to go stargazing

Teide National Park was awarded the title of ‘Starlight Tourist Destination’ thanks to its clear, dark skies, high altitude and its proximity to the Equator.

Why we love Tenerife so much!

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

DarkSkiesTenerife – astro holidays on the island of eternal spring. Website launched!

So excited to have finally launched DarkSkiesTenerife  – big shout out to Ian Aiken for his help and patient support in getting the website designed and launched.  Hope you find what you are looking for here but let us know if you don’t!

Clear skies and remember to look up!

Crescent Moon over Los Roques de Garcia
Crescent Moon over Los Roques de Garcia

We’re at the IAS!

We’ll be attending the IAS on 14th/15th October. Pop along and see us and get the chance to win a free Astro-holiday!!!