It´s been a year to remember.

Tales from the dark skies of Tenerife, brought to you by the guides of the stars!

A review of my highlights from my first year as an astronomer in Tenerife.

By Stargazing Tenerife team, your stargazing guide to the dark skies of Tenerife.

Having finished my first year as a tour guide and astronomer in Tenerife I felt it was a great time to reflect on what I have seen in that year.  As we are now seeing Jupiter and Saturn again on the tour it reminded me of when I first started.  The thrill of seeing a  planet for the first time through a telescope.  Back then we used to come on the roof of the Hotel at Casa Zaguan to view celestial objects through the scope.  I remember seeing Jupiter for the first time and the four Galilean moons dancing around it.  I had never to that point viewed a planet in such detail.  The stripes around the planet and the moons coming into focus.  It was a childhood dream come true.

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Only a few weeks after being amazed at the marvel of Jupiter, I saw Saturn in detail for the first time.  Over a billion miles away I couldn’t believe that this faint looking star came to life as a planet through the scope.  The rings were clear and we could even see the Cassini division in them.  My initial reaction was oh wow, one that would be preceded by 99% of everyone that viewed the planet on the tour.  I always believe that people prefer to see planets as opposed to Nebulae as there is a more common recognition of what they are.  So this time of year in Tenerife when they are perfect viewing I get excited to show them and unravel some of their mysteries and the myths behind them.

The planets are great, however, for me the most exciting celestial object observed in my first year has to of been the moon!  A controversial choice for most astronomer and especially astrophotographers, who are blighted by the reflective light of the moon.  But for an object that we all take for granted we can learn so much about our own origins and the violent history of Earths past.  Seeing the craters in such detail is amazing.  The fact that we are able to get people on our tours to take pictures of it through the lenses of our scope is amazing and people love the memento.  Obviously the Moon s about on our tour for about 2 weeks of every month in varying forms.  I love watching it grow from new moon (where we don´t see it) to full moon rising over the mountains!  Its unfortunate that it is so bright as it does effect the night sky.  But personally for me, I love viewing and photographing the moon!

One of the most relaxing and intimate moments of our tour has to be the Sunset with Cava.  I´ve watched as the Sun has appeared to move across the whole vista at El Retamar from peak of summer on far right hand side to peak of winter on far left hand side and back again.  The sunset sets the tone for teh evening.  It´s not often that we get to see a sunset from above the clouds but I am lucky enough to be able to on a daily basis.  Every one is different.  With the amazing cloud formations dancing below us.  I have often commented that if you have a bad day just come and watch the sunset from 2100 meters and it all goes away.  With the recent, untimely death of my Brother, watching this scene helped me deal with the pain I was feeling.

The beauty of nature has this heeling power and brings out the best in people.  So much so that I have even witnessed at least 4 proposals of marriage in my first year.  Thankfully they all said yes!  Still waiting for my invites though?

My research and study is always leading me into new objects some of which make the viewing list on the tour.  In winter it was The Andromeda Galaxy and Orion Nebula.  For me though the Messier list is where my heart is.  Explaining to the group how the faint light objects they see were formed.  Talking about distances in a way that makes us realise just how far away these objects are in reality and how long it has taken the light they are seeing to reach us.  If you come on tour it blows your mind!

I am looking forward to tonight, my first tour back since the moon has not blocked it, and showing the majesty of a sky in such a dark space.

Peter Louer Orion Nebula

Tonight I am excited as I will once again be showing people the core of our galaxy.  The arc of the milkyway!  People are amazed at how clear it can be seen from Tenerife and some 75% of people in teh UK have never seen it!  I love explaining where we are in it and how we believe it works at the centre of our own galaxy.  Even more mindbogglingly how we are just one tiny peace of teh puzzel that makes our Universe.  If seeing this doesnt humble you then quite possibly nothing ever will!

Check out our reservations page for some new packages on astro photography and sunset and stars tours or even including and overnight stay at Casa Zaguan in Vilaflor the base and home of Dark Skies Tenerife Guide.

Any questions as always drop me a message or leave a comment.

But for now, this is Stargazing Tenerife team signing off, just look up and wonder guys!

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Why Dark Skies Tenerife Guide?

  • Bespoke Tour
  • Hotel Pick up & Return
  • Amazing Sunset
  • High Altitude 2100 meters
  • Nasa – “Window to the universe”
  • Top 5 best destination in World to see the stars
  • Qualified Insured Guides
  • Laser guided tour of constellations
  • 12″ Dobsonian Telescope Viewings
  • Astrophotography Courses
  • Astronomy Holidays
  • Stargazing Pods overnight stay

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