Recently I had the chance to get an insight into the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) on top of Roque de Los Muchachos (La Palma). We met the telescope operator for about 30 minutes and he showed us around though the impressive building.
DOLORES (Device Optimized for the LOw RESolution), LRS in short, is a low resolution spectrograph and camara permanently installed at the Nasmyth B focus of the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo.
Since pictures tell a lot more than thousand words here are some photos.
Last night I visited the Tacande Observatory on La Palma (link) to do some observations and to exchange about some technical topics. It’s owner is Joan Genebriera who built this observatory back in 2005 – right beside his house 🙂 He worked at the KVA Telescope on La Palma for several years before he retired. His observatory is located close to El Paso at a height of about 765m.
The observatory holds three telescopes on one custom made mount:
Cassegrain Relay 400mm f/6.5 = 18′ x 12′ (arcminutes)
R120S 120mm f/6.6 = 1.28° x 0.96° (arcdegrees)
R80 80mm f/6.0 = 2.65° x 1.76° (arcdegrees)
Even though I was in Spain communicating in English was no problem. After I got an introduction to the equipment we decided to image the Sombrero galaxy since it was in a quite good position.
Greetings from the Northern Optical Telescope (NOT)! Quite often I used this webcam to check the weather on top of Roque de Los Muchachos and even more often I just was wishing to be up there while sitting in the office at home.
While being up at el Roque this time I finally decided to do something nonsensical and just waved into the camera to greet all astro-fans at home 😀
One thing you should not miss when you are on La Palma is a visit of the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) on top of the island at about 2400m above the sea. It is completely free and the tour just takes about one hour of your time (+ driving up and down el Roque). Currently (03/2013) the GTC is the biggest reflecting telescope worldwide. This is certainly especially interesting for people who have an affinity to technology and/or astronomy but it may also be interesting for everyone else to see this giant instrument of modern science on La Palma.
In order to visit the GTC telescope on La Palma, one has to register on the following website. According to the website there is only a limited number of places for each visit. So in case you are not flexible you should register early enough before you plan to visit the GTC.