A Breathtaking Window on the Universe

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January 20, 2015

Table of Contents for the Second Edition of “A Breathtaking Window on the Universe: a guide to the observatory at the Roque de los Muchachos”. Any words in bold are explained in the glossary. The second edition of “A Breathtaking Window on the Universe” is now on sale, price 17€ from shops or 15€ + P&P from this site. To continue reading, click here to buy the book.

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Roadworks on the Roque Road

  The road from Santa Cruz to the Roque (LP-4)is closed for repairs at the top between km 32 the Los Andennes viewpoint (the spectacular one that  looks out over the Caldera) and km 35, the Observatory turnoff. They’ve been working on the drainage ditches at the side of the road for some time, but now that they’re putting down a new layer of asphalt, the road is completely closed…

November 11, 2014
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Dragon Trees

The north of La Palma is one of the best places to see dragon trees. These exotic-looking plants grow throughout the Canary Islands, and also in Cape Verde, the Azores, Maderia, and western Morocco, but  on La Palma, they’re still reproducing naturally. The Canary Islands used to have a large, flightless bird, something like a Dodo. This bird ate dragon tree fruits, so the seeds evolved to have a hard protective…

October 2, 2014
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La Zarza Rock Carvings

One of the best archaeological sites on La Palma is La Zarza and La Zarzita, in Garafía. You have to walk, but it’s a beautiful stroll through woods of heather and bayberry trees. Yes, heather is a tree here – see the top photo. The whole walk takes about an hour, and first bit of the path is the steepest. It’s clearly signposted. You reach La Zarza first. Here there…

August 16, 2014
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Where to watch the sunrise and sunset on La Palma

I asked my Facebook friends for their favourite places to watch the sunrise or sunset on La Palma. Sunrise: Pico de la Montaña Montaña de Las Breñas Tirimaga (but there’s always a cold wind – wrap up well) Birigoyo Roque de Los Muchachos NB: The road to the Roque is closed from sunset to sunrise to avoid light pollution. You’ll have to walk. And please don’t have any car lights…

July 27, 2014
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Ravens on La Palma

Common Ravens live all over Europe, Asia and North America, but we have a different sub-species here. Some biologists group our raven in with the North African sub-species (Corvus corax tingitanus) and others think the Canaries have their own sub-species (Corvus corax canariensis). Like other members of the rook-and-crow family, they’ll eat whatever’s available: carrion, insects, cereal grains, berries, fruit, small animals, and food waste. And they’re pretty intelligent about…

July 24, 2014
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