The sky of Izaña

Izaña is situated on the island of Tenerife, a few km away from the top of the Teide. At this place we can find one of the astronomic observatories of the Canarian Astrophysic Institute. The second one is situated in Roque de los Muchachos, on the island of La Palma.

Doubtlessly this is one of the worldwide privileged places, due to its exceptional conditions for sky observation.

Izaña Observatory

There are different reasons:

* The climate of Tenerife: Where the sunny days preponderate, and the temperature is very comfortable, even on the tops of the mountains.

* The altitude: The Light which comes from the space needs to cross the atmosphere first, before it gets to us. When observing from 2300 metres we avoid a large part of this atmosphere, exactly the most dense part, and a well the one with the largest part of suspended dust particles. This means that the atmosphere is more transparent in Izaña than it is at the sea level.

* The "sea of clouds": This wonderful name is being given by the people to a curious atmospheric phenomenon, which is being produced due to a special interaction of the winds. This way, most part of the days, the clouds are being stopped during their ascension, at a height of approx. 1800 meters. That’s why our observing place is literally situated above the coulds.

* The darkness: This sky is, for several reasons, nearly completely free from artificial lights; because of its localization, practically in the centre of the island, far away from urban centres, and very near to the national park of Las Cañadas del Teide, but as well due to the strict following of the law for the protection of the sky, which is very important because of the installed astronomic observatories on these islands (It is very important to take care of this point, and we do everything to carry out our activity in order to produce the minimum light contamination as possible).


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