1st night at the IAC-80

Yesterday I had my first night at the IAC-80 telescope. Here – for the first time in my life – I have a night assistant working with me, so it is very strange that there are things I do not have to care about anymore. (Even if I like to do everything at the telescope…)

20100925iac80

Anyway, the night did not start well, as we had a lot of clouds, and the humidity was also quite high, so after a GRB follow up observation (already through short-lived holes on the cloud layer – done by the IAC staff), we had to close everything… But the sky was really magnificent right after the sunset.

20100925nightsky

There were some orographic clouds (lenticular clouds generated by the uplift of the Teide volcano), staying at the exact same position for hours, creating wonderful photo-opportunities. (Yes, this night was a disaster for science, but a blessing for photography.) And the whole landscape was lit by the moonlight, which turns night-time pictures to day-time photographs, but with stars on the sky! (I have a time lapse movie also covering almost the whole night here.)

20100926nightskywithmoon

Unluckily the clouds stayed, then by the time the sky finally cleared up, the humidity shot well above the 80% limit… So one hour before the dawn the sky was 100% clear, but the humidity was also 100%… I have never seen such a weather situation. This is really atypical for this time of the year on Tenerife. Though I was very tired by the end of the night, I stayed till the sunrise, because I knew the lights would be perfect then for photos like the one below ;)

20100926morningteide

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