Why is Las Cañadas del Teide a perfect spot to study the sky?
The Canary Islands, and in particular Mount Teide Volcano, are well known to be among the best locations in the world to study the sky, rivaling even Hawaii. So what do these two regions have in common that make them the preferred spots for astronomers to observe the stars?.
The altitude and volcanic origins
Both Hawaii and the Canary Islands boast incredibly high mountains due to their volcanic activity. Instead of forming a large mountain massif, the eruptions of Mount Teide and Mauna Kea resulted in towering peaks in the heart of relatively small islands. At 3,718 meters, Mount Teide is the highest mountain (and volcano) in Spain, while Mauna Kea reaches an impressive 4,207 meters. Although much of Mauna Kea lies underwater, if measured from its oceanic base, it would be over 10,000 meters tall – the tallest mountain on Earth!.
The exceptional air quality
Being situated in the middle of the ocean, the Canary Islands benefit from stable airflow. This means that any pollution created by human activity tends to be dispersed by the wind. Did you know that the exceptional quality of the sky in the Canary Islands is even protected by law?.
Las Cañadas del Teide has a Minimal light pollution
The low levels of light pollution in the Canary Islands have attracted the attention of astronomers since the 1960s. The observatories of Mount Teide in Tenerife and Roque de Los Muchachos in La Palma were established during this time and have since evolved into significant international projects. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Greenwich was a hub for astronomers, but increasing air and light pollution soon became problematic. Since the Canary Islands share the same latitude as Greenwich, most studies were relocated to these islands, conveniently positioned between the largest Eastern and Western international projects.
For those who study the sky, the Starmus Music & Astronomy Festival held at the Abama Hotel in Tenerife was one of the premier astronomy events for years. Even the renowned Professor Stephen Hawking was involved in the organization from its inception. As he used to say, “our only possibility of surviving in the long term is to expand into space.”
Teide by Night Stargazing Experience
If you’re not an astronomer but are visiting Tenerife on holiday, there could hardly be a better way to enjoy the breathtaking night sky, featuring over 6,000 stars and hundreds of constellations, than with a glass of cava and good company at Las Cañadas del Teide. We invite you to embark on our guided night tour, where you’ll learn about the constellations from one of the world’s most exceptional stargazing locations. Are you ready to experience a night like no other? Teide By Night invites you to join us on a captivating Stargazing Tour that will leave you spellbound. Imagine standing under the pristine skies of Tenerife’s Teide National Park, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of the universe. For more information please click here.