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.

 

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