Observatories, Earth Shadow and Belt of Venus


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ObservatorioRoqueLosMuchahos_4630-net

In this picture captured few minutes after the sunset from Roque de Los Muchachos, in La Palma Canary Island, we can see the Earth shadow, a dark blue band that rises upwards from the horizon. The band is the shadow of the Earth on the atmosphere. Immediately above, where the evening air is still lit, glows a pink band called the anti-twilight arch, or “Belt of Venus”. On Earth, stands part of a huge complex with 15 telescopes, some of the largest telescopes in the world. From left to right, the grey dome open is the shelter for the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) a modern 2.6-m optical/IR telescope, next, the small white house is the home for Automatic Transit Circle (ATC), an old meridian circle built by Grubb-Parsons in 1950 but completely refurbished and automatized in the 70’s of the past century by the Copenhagen University Observatory (CUO). It main task is to observe evenly bodies at their transit across the meridian. At his right, the big white dome belongs to the great William Herschel Telescope (WHT), the largest optical telescope of its kind in Europe, with a primary mirror of 4.2 meters in diameter, is one of the most scientifically productive telescopes in the world. Next, the small shape in the background near the first white tower is from Liverpool Telescope, a 2 meter diameter optical astronomical telescope, constructed especially for robotic use. The telescope is especially to study variable astronomical phenomena. Now, the first white Tower is from Dutch Open Telescope (DOT) an innovative optical telescope with a primary mirror of 45 cm diameter, for high-resolution imaging of the solar atmosphere. Next far, the silver small dome  is from Mercator Telescope, a 1.2 m quasi-robotic telescope which scientific niche is focussed on monitoring variable celestial phenomena with a large range in typical time-scales (pulsating stars, gravitational lenses, Gamma Ray Bursts, active Galactic Nuclei), immediately adjacent to the next tower (just in the picture) we can see the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST), the largest solar telescope in Europe and number one in the world when it comes to high spatial resolution. The last white domes belongs to Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) with a 2.54-meter primary mirror and the Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT) with a parabolic primary mirror of 1.0 m diameter.

|   Canon 60Da – ISO400; 24mm at f/4; Exp. 1/80 secs. in 30/09/2013 at: 20h10 AM

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