The Dark Skies of Tenerife.

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

Why is Tenerife so good for stargazing and astrophotography?

By Kieran Mynott, your stargazing guide to the dark skies of Tenerife.

Dark Skies Tenerife Guide is a dedicate astronomy center in Tenerife.  The first of its kind.  We provide astronomy holidays, Astro Photography Courses and Sunset & stars tours!

We are launching our UK road show later this month and will be visiting photography clubs and astronomy societies around the UK to let them know why tenerife is such a great place to see and photograph the stars.  In preparing the presentation it occurred to me that we haven’t rely spoken much about it on here. So today we will be talking about why Tenerife is described as a window to the universe by NASA.

1!

I suppose the first thing seems obvious but its amazing how many people don’t know where Tenerife actually is!  We are approximate 2,400 miles south of the UK and putting us very close to the Tropic of Cancer allowing long hours of astronomical darkness all year around.  Although a Spanish Island we are actually just off the coast of Africa near Western Sahara.  Tenerife is one of eight (8) Canary Islands and is the largest and most populated with some 45% of the whole population of the archipelago residing here.

The best thing about Tenerife is that if you are interested in the stars you can make it a family holiday!  Tenerife is one of Europes top tourist destinations. We have fantastic beaches and amazing attractions.  Being a busy winter island means there are some great deals to be had all year around.  With a dark sky park only 1 hour from the coast you can make the trip a family holiday.  Tenerife has the No1 Water Park in the World in Siam Park and No1 Attraction in Europe in Loro Park.  Its a perfect opportunity to combine the family holiday with your passion about astronomy.

“The higher the telescope the better the view of the universe!” – Sir Isaac Newton

Tenerifes Dark Sky Park has a Bortle 3 recognition.  Classed as rural viewing.  On a scale of 1 being the best on earth and 9 being a city 3 doesn’t sound that great?  So why is tenerife considered to be?  Well its not just the dark sky!  Tenerife also has a great climate and low humidity.  With a peak of around 3,500 meters on Mount Teide we have the advantage of less atmosphere to see through as well.  The weather here has created an inversion layer too, So a blanket of cloud is suppressed below us helping to block any light pollution from the coastal resorts.  It is not by chance that Teide National Park houses the Canary Islands Observatory and the Institute of Astrophysics, which receives support from 19 countries and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology for studying the skies. The observatory stands at an altitude of 2,400 m (7,875 ft) above sea level

Tenerifes always been a great place for astronomers.

In the mid 19th century the scientist Piazzi Smyth visited the peaks of Tenerife to make the first observations which would confirm, as maintained by the great Isaac Newton, that the higher the telescope the better the view of the Universe.  The site chosen was at Alto de Guajara, where the walls of the original observatory can still be seen today.  A century later, William R. Birt gave the name “Montes Teneriffe” to some mountains on the Moon, close to the Plato Crater, in honour of Pazzi Smyth’s expedition.

Tenerife is also great for astrophotography.  From Landscapes of the prehistoric rock formations and pine forests with the starry night sky behind,  to nebula’s and planets.  Hopefully you have seen why Tenerife is the best place in Europe to come for amateur stargazers to professional photographers and everyone in between.  With the Dark Sky, High Altitude and Low Humidity Tenerife is now recognised as the 3rd best place in the world to see the stars and is described by NASA as a window to the universe.  Being only 4 hours on a plane and a great tourist destination, there really is something for everyone in Tenerife!

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

If you want to join us to see the stars of our galaxy or a closer look through our telescope at some of the objects we have spoken about on here today.  Join us on a sunset and stars tour for a spot of stargazing and a relaxing of the soul in Tenerifes National Park!

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 Kieran signing off.

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Any questions please leave a comment or email me at reservations@darkskiestenerifeguide.com

Kieran.

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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