Happy to share with you this nice shoots we took during this week:

This one has been taken using a mobile phone and our powerful hand made telescope. The waning moon is rising up the pine trees situated about 15 km away. A few clouds on the horizon give a special interest to this picture.

This one is of our hand made telescope. In the background there are a few pine trees I was lighting with my front headlight during the 30 seconds exposure of the photography. This is a genuine picture. Nevertheless the post treatment of the foreground is slightly different from the post treatment of the background with the starry sky.

This one has been done yesterday. Despite of an apparently clear sky on the picture we actually had troubles with clouds yesterday. We finally had to go up to Roque Nublo (Center of Gran Canaria). The sky was clear there and we enjoyed a very good astronomy observation.

How many micrometeorites are falling in my garden?

Micrometorites are falling constantly everywhere. Their origin is unclear, according to some studies, most of them could come from comet dust. They are the oldest materials of the solar system. They are beautiful.

They are everywhere. On your doorstep, on your home roof, on your car roof. Any step you take outdoor, you step on many of them.

But you cannot see them. They are too small.

A very good question is : How many are they?

This apparently easy question is actually quite hard to answer. It depends on what you call a micrometeorite and what is your source of information. Next we are going to make an attempt answering.

The first definition of micrometeorites was actually only referring to unmelted particles. But in the last 20 years it happens scientist are calling micrometeorites to both melted and unmelted particles. Let us consider as "micrometeorite" any particle less than 1 mm in diameter coming from the space "as it" (not from a bigger body that broke up during…

Micrometeorites pretenders (all impostors)

We have been lastly trying to find more micrometeorites. In the South of Gran Canaria, it is almost raining during the winter only. At this time there are some roads near Mogan where the asphalt has not drained the rains for months. 

GC-605 road in South Gran Canaria
Many micrometeorites fell on this roads during this time. And they are still there.

Using an extremely powerful magnet it might be possible to find them. The magnet we have been using is a dangerous 1000 Kg powerful neodynium magnet.

1000Kg powerful magnet
We enfold the magnet in a plastic bag in an attempt to make easier to unstick metal particles from the magnet in the future.

Then we put the magnet under one of our minivan, separated about 8cm from the asphalt.

The magnet in place
We drove the GC-605 slowly and remove the magnet later. So far so good: it worked !

The harvest
With some difficulties we managed to separate the metal particles from the magnet. The power of the magnet attracting particles was much stronger than the p…

A very tiny one

At astroGCwe are dedicating time and money to find micrometeorites and learn more about this fascinating extraterrestrialspherules.

Micrometeorite hunting and their positive identification as extraterrestrial origin is challenging. Nevertheless micrometeorites are everywhere. Every step you take in an outdoor area, you step on several micrometeorites.

This means it is theoretically possible to find micrometeorites next to the door of your home. This is precisely what we have done.

On Saturday 6 April 2019. After a huge rain, we recollected dust on the sidewalk next to the garage where we are parking one of our vans.

We noticed a neighbor drains rainwater from his roof directly to the public sidewalk. It is not raining very often here. Micrometeorites fell on his roof during months and were moved out to the sidewalk during the strong rain. After analyzing the dust, we finally discovered a strong micrometeorite candidate. In this case we are not 100% sure it is a actually a micrometeorite. …
A full moon night is not good for the deep sky observation. But a waning moon is normally rising late enough in the night to give us time to observe a few deep sky objects before we watch the moon itself. This kind of astronomy workshop is a good opportunity to take stunning pictures. Here are a few ones.

Hydraulic power station in Gran Canaria

The company Red Electrica de España is planning to build a huge hydraulic power station between the dams of Soria and Chira in Gran Canaria.
This is quite near the area where we are going to stargaze at astroGC.
Fortunately the area being protected, the hydraulic power station will be underground.

The plan is to pump the water up when the wind turbines are producing more energy than the consumed energy on the island. And recover this energy when needed.
More info (in Spanish) here:
The canarian common kestrel (Falco Tinnunculus) is a small falcon abundant in Gran Canaria. Its name in Spanish is "Cernícalo". It is the most extended bird of prey specie in the canary islands. Its size is 30-35 cm from head to tail and 70-80 cm wingspan. 

As a specie, It is native of the Canary Island but not endemic. There are 2 subspecies: Dacotiae in Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and Canariensis in the rest of islands.
Its diet mainly consists of smaller birds, small mammals like mice (introduced in the canary islands). In Gran Canaria, the canarian common kestrel also hunts the endemic Gran Canarian giant lizard (Gallotia Stehlini). Those living near the urban centers also hunt caged birds like parakeets.

A gorge situated near Telde has been named after this bird. This is the "Barranco de los Cernícalos". This is an advisable place for a trekking tour because ot the abundant vegetation of the gorge.
On 24th March 2019, at astroGC we had a photo stop at the Mulato v…