Guide to Astronomic Leasure: stargazing in Tenerife
The clarity of its skies, its pure and clean air and its unbeatable conditions make Tenerife one of the main destinations in the world to see the stars. We bring you a basic guide with everything you need to know!
El Teide Observatory, 2,400 metres above sea level
The Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute is located in this Observatory. It is dedicated to scientific dissemination, administration of the observatory, astrophysical research, and the training of personnel in astrophysics.
It can also be visited as part of excursions or guided teaching tours (as detailed below).
Surveys of the Universe are constantly made and discoveries have been made such as one of the first stars formed in the Milky Way.
The first 3 editions of the Starmus International Festival were also held here with relevant people in the scientific sector such as Stephen Hawking.
Situated above the sea of clouds to ensure a clean atmosphere, the quality of the Observatory is due to two factors: the large number of hours of useful observation per year and the quality of the sky.
Laws of heaven
The sky of the Canary Islands has 3 Starlight Reserves that certify its quality. A “Sky Law” or Law on the Protection of the Astronomical Quality of the Observatories was established in 1988.
The first in the world to protect the quality of a sky, which regulates 4 fundamental aspects: light pollution, radioelectric and atmospheric and air routes. The airspace of the observatories of the Astronomical Institute of the Canary Islands was declared an “Ecological Protection Zone”: no industries or polluting activities can be built above 1,500 metres.
According to National Geographic, 83% of the world’s population lives under the effects of light pollution, which prevents the vision of stars with the human eye. Because of the high altitude of many areas of the Canary Islands and their remoteness from urban centres, their light pollution map looks like this:
So the higher areas, such as the Teide National Park, are completely away from light pollution and perfect for stargazing.
See the Milky Way from El Teide
In order to observe this elusive phenomenon, it must be taken into account that it shines most in the Northern Hemisphere and its appearance is that of a dense chain of interstellar clouds.
Depending on the month, there are specific times at which it will be more easily observable.
Calendar of astronomical phenomena during 2019
These are the astronomical phenomena visible from the Canary Islands during the year.
1-5 January. Quadrant rainfall
22-23 April. Rain of Lyridas.
10 and 20 June. Minor rainfall of Ofiucides. Lesser rainfall means less than 5 stars per hour.
6-10 October. Dracónidas Rain
November 11th. Transit of mercury ahead of the Sun. It will happen next time in 2032. It will look like a black dot in the solar sphere.
December 13-14. Geminid rain. Up to 150 shooting stars per hour.
Astronomical Leisure: activities you can do in groups
- Excursions: On guided tours or on your own, you can visit the Teide National Park and stop to watch the stars at night.
- Observations: You can go into the world’s largest solar observatory, visit its facilities and receive teachings about the universe and the constellations, look through the world’s most advanced telescopes…
- Wine tasting under the stars: Astronomical observation nights with good wine are a classic in astronomical leisure in the Canary Islands. The perfect combination of enotourism and astrotourism, to take advantage of the occasion for two.
Tasting&stars, our tour of Wines and tapas under the sky of Tenerife that combines enotourism and astrotourism.
Tasting & Stars is a route of recognition and value of the sky and also of our land.
Above the sea of clouds, a specialist will guide us to a protected spot in the Teide National Park to contemplate the firmament, we will take a picnic with products from the island and, of course, our wine, your wine.
Activity insurance and vehicle insurance.
Visits and tastings.
Starlight guide enabled.
⏰ TIMETABLE AND DIFFICULTY
From 16:00 to 22:30 approx. (5 hours)