Getting to the Roque de los Muchachos
The Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the crater rim of the Caldera de Taburiente and thus the highest point on the island of La Palma. It can be reached by rental car both from Santa Cruz de la Palma, as well from the west on the coast road and then the serpentines up to 2,426 meters. Even before you see the buildings of Roque-de-los Muchachos observatory is you pointed out with signs, just drive with low beam to the observations with the giant telescopes not to influence. On whole La Palma apply rules to keep the light pollution on the island as small as possible. Even street lights have a small and clearly downward luminosity.
Shortly after these references, there is a branch of the road to the Roque de los Muchachos. The journey takes you past the various observatories. Spain, Sweden, Denmark and the United Kingdom do research here together since 1979th. Other European countries (Germany, 1983) but also the United States were added. One arrives at a small parking area, right on the Roque de los Muchachos. Here start several hiking trails and a path to a lookout point in the Caldera de Taburiente. The areas outside the paths should not enter one, there are unique plant. The Caldera is a nature reserve. Caldera de Taburiente On the Roque de los Muchachos one stands directly on the crater rim of this enormous volcano. It has a diameter of ca. 10 kilometers. Usually one is here above the clouds. However, one rarely has characterized a view of the sea, which lies more than 2,400 meters below. In good weather and unclouded view, you can see the neighboring islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and Tenerife with the Teide.
Description of observatories
Das Spiegelteleskop MAGIC IACT
The reflecting telescope MAGIC IACT or “Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope” for gamma radiation is a joint venture between Germany, Italy and Spain. The telescope has a diameter of 17 m and consists of approximately 246 m² mirrors. The MAGIC I was taken in August 2004 at the Observatory of the Roque de los Muchachos in operation and has 50 x 50 cm large mirror. The MAGIC II was built in 2009 and has 100 by 100 cm wide mirror. They work together and can thus improve the monitoring performance.
Gran Telescopio Canarias GTCGran Telescopio CANARIAS GTC
The large telescope in the Canary Islands – GRANTECAN opened in July of 2007. The main mirror has a diameter of nearly 11 meters, the diameter of the dome is 33 meters, and the telescope has a total of 27 meters high. The project was created on initiative of the Astrophysics Institute of the Canary Islands. Mexico and the USA are also involved.