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Why Stargazing in Tenerife?

Izaña Observatory

According to NASA, the sky of the Canary Islands is one of the top three in the world for night sky observations together with the Big Island of Hawaii and the Atacama desert in Chile! and it is not a surprise that the best observatories and telescopes are located in the Teide National Park in Tenerife, at the top of our neighbour island of La Palma, at the top of Mauna Loa and the Chajnantor Plateau.

What makes those places so special that they have built such advanced telescopes all the way up there? All observatories around the world are nestled high up on the mountains and in remote regions, and there are a few good reasons!

– First, the higher the elevation the thinner the atmosphere is and, as a result, there is less diffraction to the light coming from stars and galaxies far away. Without getting too technical, when you see stars twinkling in the sky it is not the star itself that flickers but those photons being bounced around by the particles making up the atmosphere.

– Second, the higher you go, the lower the clouds tend to stay. Because you can be in the darkest location in the world but, if it is cloudy all the time, there is no observation or stargazing possible…

– Third, and most important, the more remote the place, the less light pollution we have. We will have a separate entry on light pollution, but as you may already know, it is the orange-yellow glow that comes from street lights, buildings, cars, factories etc: unfortunately, these sources of light effectively spoil the beauty of the night sky preventing us from seeing it the way our ancestors marveled at it.

Luckily, the Teide National Park is only 30 minutes away from the resorts of the island and is one of the best places to observe planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies with the naked eye or using telescopes.

Come join us on a stargazing tour to see it for yourself through our professional telescopes while our guides unlock the secrets of the universe!

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