A review of my highlights from my first year as an astronomer in 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.
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!
“The first time i came here i was amazed by how many stars i could see, i´m here nearly every night now and it still amazes me” – Kieran Mynott
Why Dark Skies Tenerife Guide?
- Bespoke Tour
- Hotel Pick up & Return
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- 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