Last night, La Palma saw a total eclipse of the moon. Well, a large part of planet Earth saw it, of course, but since La Palma has beautiful dark skies, we saw it better than most places.
In fact La Palma has a set of viewpoints upgraded for astronomy. In practice, this means parking space, level ground suitable for tripods, a signpost pointing to the pole star, and an information panel.
I went up to Llano de la Venta viewpoint, where Astrotour was offering free stargazing, courtesy of the island government. These viewpoints can be pretty cold in winter – this one is at 1,300 m – but last night it was quite balmy. We got a splendid view of the moon, followed by a splendid view of the International Space Station zooming overhead. (Every time they add more solar panels, the ISS gets brighter and brighter). And to round things off nicely, Astrotour pointed their 10″ telescope at Saturn, so we could all see the rings.
You could say it was a heavenly evening.