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Tenerife or La Palma for astro??


starman1969
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I'm thinking of booking a last minute, long weekend trip to Tenerife for the Geminids this year. I know the Teide area quite well, so I don't have problem getting up there and knowing where to watch/image.

I did, however, recently think about trying La Palma instead. If anything La Palma looks to have much less population, so less glow from any LP, not that Tenerife suffers too badly.

Can anybody recommend La Palma?

I am expecting to spend all night, every night watching/imaging the skies, so I could do with setting up somewhere with easy access and away from main roads but because I don't know La Palma I'm not sure how it compares with Tenerife.

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We went to La Palma last year and can highly recommend it. I also think Steve (Steppenwolf) frequents La Palma as well.

If you can get in the countryside the LP is very low, get up la Roche even better ;)

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I've done both.

In Tenerife you're limited to the mountain, as most of the lower level stuff has LP from the resorts. After a few days up El Tiede I grabbed an island hopper flight for a week in a rented house in La Palma. It was on the south side of the island and I was very pleased with the situation. If I was to go there again, I would look for a rental quite far south on the island.

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Likewise. I did a flight IIRC from Luton to La Palma, stayed at a Hotel on the sw side of the island. Black sand nearby on the beach. The hotel was a bit away from the local village, and I got them to turn off the lights in a corner of the garden so I could do some observing.  That was from there garden near the top of the cliff face. it was so dark I couldnt see the ground and nearly misjudged it. I picked the camera lens up the next day.... somewhat bent about 6 foot down the rock face. Opps.

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If you do go to either the key is to get above the inversion which is the layer of clouds at around 2000m (maybe lower in summer, too high in winter or non-existent if the NE Trade winds are not blowing).

Also, the usual weather pattern results in a cloud/rain build up around the NE aspects of both islands.  Stay west.

Good luck.

Paul

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