How the volcanic eruption is affecting our stargazing tours.
(Updated to November 8, 2021). Due to the volcanic eruption that is occurring in the Cumbre Vieja area, our stargazing tours with telescopes are currently not available.
Our usual stargazing locations (astronomical viewpoint Llano del Jable and astronomical viewpoint Llano de La Venta) are currently in the exclusion zone, so they are not passable.
In the meantime, why don’t we carry out stargazing tours from other parts of the island?
An optimal site for our astronomical observations has to meet all the following characteristics:
- Absence of light pollution (away from public and private lighting, buildings, busy roads, etc.).
- It has to be an open space with a large portion of observable sky (without many trees around, no buildings, no mountains around, etc.).
- It has to be a place with good visibility conditions (for example, far from coastal places where the presence of small drops of water and saltpetre would affect the optics of the telescope).
- It has to be an easily accessible place by car to carry our observation equipment (our telescopes are bulky and heavy instruments, so it would not be practicable to walk many meters with them).
- It has to be a place with a high probability of clear skies. At certain times of the year, especially in winter, cloudy skies are more frequent, especially on the north and northeast parts of the island.
- It has to be a place without risk of volcanic ash fall, which would imply possible damage to our eyes and to the observation equipment (telescope mirrors, electronic and mechanical components, etc.).
- It has to be a place where the air quality (as a consequence of the emission of volcanic gases) is good, since the stargazing tour is carried out entirely outdoor.
Roque de Los Muchachos is an excellent place for astronomical observation. Why don’t we do the stargazing tours from there?
It is not allowed to access by car and/or carry out night observation activities from the area of the Roque de Los Muchachos Astrophysical Observatory, in order not to interfere with the work of the astronomers and the correct functioning of the professional telescopes of the Observatory.
Hopefully we can resume our stargazing tours as soon as possible. We will keep you informed.
Thanks for your understanding.
Photo credits: Abián San Gil