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Star Stories
Tales from the dark skies of Tenerife, brought to you by the guides of the stars!
Why do you love Stargazing?
By Stargazing Tenerife team, your guide to the dark skies of Tenerife.

Why do I love stargazing?  That’s what I was asked recently on a tour.  It got me to thinking what it is that gets me so passionate about the night sky.  Even in the UK I used to sometimes stand out in the freezing cold and look up in wonder at the majestic patterns.  I obviously didn’t know much about them back then, but on a truly dark night that does’t matter.  You still just stand and watch the magical scene as it unfolds slowly as your eyes adjust to the dark, seeing more every time you look.

Stargazing Mount Teide

When on a stargazing tour, I love it when it’s peoples first time of seeing a dark sky like we have in Tenerife.  It is easy to forget how lucky I am that I get to see a night sky like we have on such a regular basis.  I often comment that on my first trip up to the National Park and Tenerifes’ Dark Sky Park, how I was amazed at the sheer amount of stars that I could see and that it still amazes me even today almost a year down the line.  Although the constellations that I saw when I started back in June 2018 are starting to come back I still feel excited about what I can learn about them this year.  I remember the excitement and anticipation I had when waiting to see Mars for the first time.  I also remember how it felt the first time I saw The Milkyway.  I was aware that a large number of people hadn’t seen it in the UK.  But now I am in the 25% that have.

Peter used the moon to best capture the mountains and then layered a second image of the Milkyway.
Peter Louers first capture of the year of the Milkyway from the Caldera of Tenerife.

Learning about the science behind the cosmos is one extremely difficult task, but for me the mythology behind the stars is what brings them to life!  When I’m talking about the Greek or Roman mythology behind the stars, although sometimes far stretched by the imagination and almost always very difficult for our stargazers to see even with the assistance of a laser pen, I see pictures in the sky.  I dont just see stars anymore, I see stories.  It may seem silly, but when you think a lot of people still read horoscopes, maybe its not such an antiquated way of thinking.  You have to realise that when the stars and constellations were being dreamed up that they didn’t know what we do about our Universe today.  It is not surprising that they attached stories about their Gods and Goddesses and Heros and Villains to help them explain what they were seeing.

Signs of the Zodiac.

Stargazing Mount Teide

“The cosmos IS WITHIN us.  We are made of star stuff.  We are a way for the Universe TO KNOW ITSELF. ”

  • Carl Sagan

I hear regularly people in disbelief and trying to wrap their heads around some of the distances involved and it reminds me of Tenerife itself.  When you live on the coast of Tenerife everything seems around you and trip to the North of the island seems like a massive adventure.  If I mention that I live in Vilaflor I might as well of said I live on the moon!  The smaller your daily world the smaller you think.  We are less than a grain of sand in our own galaxy let alone the wider Universe that we know about.

Stargazing Mount Teide

I say the Universe we know about, it fascinates me that the best and brightest minds of our planet are yet to understand what more than 5% of our Universe is made up of.  Of course we are getting a lot better all the time but in general we are in the realms of Theoretical Physics.  Sometimes I think, especially when talking about the very opening moments of our universe, we should leave it to the priests and rabbis to debate.

If you have never seen a Dark Sky like the one in Tenerife then join us and I guarantee you will not be dissapointed with what you can see.  Tenerife is officially the 3rd best place in the world to see the stars and described by NASA as a window to the universe.  It’s been suggested that people who regularly stargaze live longer and are less likely to suffer from stress.  I for one can vouch for that fact as even on the toughest of days, a short drive up the mountains and tilting my head back and watching the Universe unfold just takes away any feelings of anxiety or any other feeling for that matter other than the ore and sheer merriment of seeing such an amazing Dark Sky!



Until next time this is Stargazing Tenerife team signing off.

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Why Dark Skies Tenerife Guide?

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  • Laser guided tour of constellations
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