The small town Oberstdorf at the foot of the Alps is a nice place for various outdoor activities like hiking, cycling ans skiing. But there is one more thing which most people are probably not aware off: When the nights are clear one can see lots and lots of stars - even the Milky Way is visible from here.
So while most of the outdoor activists are sleeping great things happen out there 🙂 On a clear evening we took our telescope and spent one night among the stars. Below are some photos of the Milky Way. Some more photos of this evening can be found here.
On our last La Palma holiday I did lots of experiments with my X-T1 camera. This time I was especially looking into time-lapsing. La Palma is the perfect place for doing this kind of videos. In this short video we want to show the highlights of our last holiday. Lots of stars, clouds and sunsets... 🙂 In order to make this video we visited many different places of the island. Some of them were Roque de Los Muchachos, Mirador del Jable, Mirador del Time and Pico Birigoyo. The music title "Worlds" has been composed by Jacob Tyler. I found it on www.soundcloud.com. I hope you enjoy the video 🙂
Last night we visited the Tacande Observatory on La Palma to do some observations and to exchange about some technical topics. It's owner is Joan Genebriera who built this observatory back in 2005 - right beside his house 🙂 He worked at the KVA Telescope on La Palma for several years before he retired. His observatory is located close to El Paso at a height of about 765m. Even though we were in Spain communicating in English was no problem. The telescopes can be used for visual observations as well as for CCD photography. We decided to take some photos of the sky. After we collected some frames of the Sombrero galaxy we decided to try some other objects with just shorter exposure time. For example we tried M3, M95 and the huge Omega Centauri cluster which is not visible from Germany at all. The best results can be found here.
The hours passed very quickly and after 2o'clock we decided to finish our observations since we still had to drive home. We copied everything to an USB stick so that we were able to process the raw data later.
Our conclusion: If you are once on La Palma and you are interested in taking photos of the night sky with a quite good telescope you should pass by at the Tacande Observatory.
The sunset at Roque de Los Muchachos on La Palma creates a special atmosphere which is hard to describe. When the sun crosses the horizon the different telescope domes open up and the first stars become visible. The sky turns into dark blue and at the horizon the far clouds turn red, yellow and orange. Below us only clouds. While many people are sitting at home in front of their TV great things happen up here - on La Palma - far off the world 🙂
The northern part of the Roque de Los Muchachos observatory is not reachable by car - at least there are some "Staff only" signs on the road. However, there is a small path which leads up to the Puente Nueva peak. If you park the car at 28°45'46.5"N 17°52'29.1"W right beside the road, walking up there takes only about 15-20 minutes. From there one has a great view on this part of the observatory! Some more details can be found here.
For our next La Palma holidays we came across Casa La Chirlaca. It is a cottage located in the west of the island – not far from Tijarafe. It can be found on google maps (28°41’07.6″N 17°56’15.5″W). It has a big sun terrace with an almost free view to the sea.
To us, this cottage was a pleasant location. Especially the terrace, the garden and the great free view on the sea are wonderful. It has a kitchen, a living room and a bedroom for two persons. A third sleeping place is the sofa. The next super market is about 10 minutes away by car. From here it takes about 1:20h by car to get to Roque de Los Muchachos. Furthermore the cottage has free WLAN internet via satellite. It is a bit slow but for checking mails and web browsing it is sufficient. The owner more or less only speaks Spanish but for giving over the house that wasn’t a problem. Casa La Chirlaca can for example be booked here.
The cottage is about ~700m above the sea level. So there can still be annoying clouds and in the evening and at night it always became cold. So remember to take warm clothes with you – even if you visit the canary islands La Palma 🙂 A few more astronomy related photos and comments can be found on my astro-blog.