This image of the Milky Way has been recorded in a clear, cold night not so far away from Roque de Los Muchachos on La Palma. It has been recorded with an EOS6D in combination with a Rokinon 14mm/f2.8 fast lens. The exposure time was 20s with ISO6400. A darkframe has been subtracted later on. The RAW file has been developed using rawtherapee. For correction of vignetting and perspective a lens correction profile from this website has been used (btw. thanks for providing this profile!).
To me, sunset at Roque de Los Muchachos creates a special atmosphere which is hard to describe. Probably this is something what especially people addicted to astronomy can understand. When the sun crosses the horizon the different telescope domes open up and the first stars become visible. While many people are sitting at home in front of their TV great things happen up here – far off the world 🙂
Many different telescopes from many different nations are located up here at Roque de Los Muchachos. Here is just a subset of those I recognized so far:
As far as I experienced, the northern part of the observatory is not reachable by car – at least there are some “Staff only” signs on the road. However, there is a small path which leads up to the Puente Nueva peak. If you park the car at 28°45’46.5″N 17°52’29.1″W right beside the road, walking up there takes only about 15-20 minutes. From there one has a great view on this part of the observatory!
Today was a wonderful day for hiking up at Roque de Los Muchachos. The passat clouds reach a maximum height of about 1800m. Today was a good day to observe this phenomenon. My starting point today was a small parking place at 28°45’40.0″N 17°52’02.7″W. There is not so much space and parking here felt a little strange 🙂 From here a small path leads to Puente Nueva which is smaller summit near Roque de Los Muchachos. It takes just about 30 minutes from the parking place to the summit which is directly located beside the Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) and the Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT). Still you should be sure-footed when taking the path. The path offers a great view into the caldera and across the island.
Last night I visited Roque de Los Muchachos again – this time in the dark. For me, driving up all the mountain from Tijarafe in the dark is quite exhausting. In fact you make countless left- and right-turns on your way up. This evening I didn’t meet a single car on the whole road to the top. Since the road to Roque de Los Muchachos is closed after 7pm one cannot drive up to the real top. However, there are a few possibilities where one can park the car. Still I think it makes sense to see the whole area at least once at daytime since it is really really dark up there 🙂 When I parked the car, switched off the light and stepped out the car I first saw nothing at all (when I was there it was around new moon)…
This day I drove all the way up to Roque de Los Muchachos on La Palma. From El Jesus it takes about 1:10 – depending on the driving style. One thing to take in mind is that one is going upwards from ~600m to ~2400m by car. Some people even may suffer from circulation problems. So when being up there move slowly and remember that the air density is reduced by about 15-20% compared to El Jesus or similar starting points. The next ambulance is about 1:30h away from this point. So one should only go up there if he/she feels good.