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JohnMills

New member -Lives in La Palma - Canary Islands

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Hi All, 
I'm John Mills - I've often dropped into this group over the years and thought it about time I joined in :)

I have lived in La Palma since 1986. A former electronics technician and night duty engineer who worked for the Isaac Newton Group of telescopes, but now retired.  One of the few who worked there where my job was also my hobby! Over the years I have met many amateur astronomers from the UK  who have come over to observe or do astro-imaging. Notably Ian King and Nik Szymanek who first came to the island ~1995 and were once regular visitors, but not so much these days.  We're good friends and still keep in contact. This last month has been quite busy with members from the Mid Kent AS and Vectis AS coming over and using some of the kit I keep here.

So if any of you guys feel the need to escape the UK weather and do some imaging from one of the best astronomical sites in the world, it would be great to see you over here :)

Regards John


 

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Many thanks Nigella :)
Yep, Its a pretty good place to observe from if one gets above the cloud base, but not always from my back garden!  I'm getting too old these days to lug all my kit up the mountain :o

Edited by JohnMills
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Thanks for saying hello. Seems like you’re ‘living the dream’! 👌

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Welcome to SGL. Most be incredible to live in a location like that!

Best Regards

Frank

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Hello John, welcome to the lounge.

 

Rick

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Many thanks guys for welcoming me into the group.

La Palma is certainly a great place for astronomy. Many who come here for the first time are so overwhelmed and impressed by the night sky, they become regular visitors. To go up to the 'Roque de Los Muchachos' and see so many stars, the structure in the Milky Way, etc it can be difficult to delineate the familiar constellations. If the 'seeing' is above 1 arcsec at the observatory, its considered to be a bad night ;)

Check out my website
http://www.millseyspages.com/astro_pages/astro_index.html    for more info about my astro activities and the 'Observatorio de Roque de Los Muchachos'. Its been a few years since I last updated it!

ATB John

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I want to live in La Palma !!

(or at least visit someday)

I'm guessing you have over 200+ clear nights over there per year......compared  to Derby's 20 🙄

Seriously though.....welcome to the lounge 😀

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Hi John, welcome to SGL :smile:

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John

Welcome from Land Down Under

We also have amazing skies where I am as well, although some of the mining areas, not producing light pollution never had before

John

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9 hours ago, Tubby Bear said:

I want to live in La Palma !!

(or at least visit someday)

I'm guessing you have over 200+ clear nights over there per year......compared  to Derby's 20 🙄

Seriously though.....welcome to the lounge 😀

Many thanks.  Not sure how many nights on average are clear here. Probably up at the ORM (at 2,300 metres ASL) there are 200 a year or more.  The Liverpool Telescope night reports (and archive) is a good source of info. Check out - http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/Reports/
However, sadly that's not case at lower altitudes. More so on the east side of the island where I live :(
Generally conditions are better on the west side. I have a friend who runs a remote observatory from the UK at Tacande (at 700 metres ASL) which is fitted with a skycam -  
http://www.hills-observatory.org/lpweather.htm   but looks like tonight the humidity is high and he's closed up shop! Such is life  :(

 

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13 minutes ago, cletrac1922 said:

John

Welcome from Land Down Under

We also have amazing skies where I am as well, although some of the mining areas, not producing light pollution never had before

John

Hi  John, I can well believe you have some great skies on the Gold Coast.  You probably know Eddie Trimarchi who lives in that area? I purchased a software package from him a few years ago for displaying FITs images in Win7... It works fine ;)
Sadly I've never observed from the southern hemisphere. It must be great with objects like the Carina nebula and the Magellanic  clouds. Up on the mountain here its just possible to see the top 3 stars of Crux, but not the Coal Sack which is further south. We're at Lat 28.5 degrees north.

 

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Hello John and welcome. I love the Canary Islands.

Peter

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Welcome to SGL John,  I've been a couple of times to La Palma and two things struck me, one - seeing the Milky Way from inside the kitchen where we were staying, with lights on, the view was great literally just walking out the door and two, when up on the Roque one night seeing both detail in the Milky way almost horizon to horizon and the fact that the stars even low down on the horizon weren't twinkling. That was a bit eerie to me!

 

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Hi John, welcome to SGL. I have visited La Palma on several occasions and I really love the place. I remember well my early disappointment at the cloudy late evening sky at Puntagorda on my first visit and how I woke up half way through the night and ventured out to see if it had cleared. Looking up, I noticed a long tendrilous cloud overhead and was about to go back inside disappointed once more only to realise that this was the most breathtaking swathe of the Milky Way that I had ever seen!

A visit to La Palma is never complete without a visit to the Roque de Los Muchachos and the amazing feeling of clean, thin air above the clouds is intoxicating.

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Welcome to SGL John.  I have an apartment with a few telescopes on Tenerife, despite being at sea level I can still see the Milky Way from an urban location. Lunar and planetary images are frequently outstanding.    😀

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Hello and a warm welcome to SGL, see you around the forums.

Clear Sky's.

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Many thanks again for welcoming me into SGL.

Today (for the first time in ages) I went up to the ING to show a visitor around. Unfortunately the weather was pretty grim and all the domes enveloped in thick cloud. Whilst in the 2.5m Isaac Newton telescope, a group of Dutch astrophysics students came onto the observing floor with their guide and I slewed it around for them and opened up the mirror petals. They loved all that standing up on the prime focus balcony taking photos and videos :)   It was quite an experience for me also as it been at least 9 years since I worked there and that I still remembered how to do it :D



 

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Hi John, 

Welcome to SGL. And your from La Palma? you lucky thing. I love La Palma, and try and visit every couple of years. Always take my portable rig with me. Cant be the Night sky's there, especially on the west of the island. And i love to have a nice Cake and Coffe at Mirador El Time on a nice day.

From Another John 👍

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Hi John, and welcome here.

I enjoyed reading your website, especially as I was working in the electronics / IT area myself around that time. Thanks for sharing. You really did some pioneering work in such a high-tech environment. Wow, what a career ! Since you retired, have you been using your technical skills for any DIY astro related work ?

Ragnar

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