The stars on Tenerife with the naked eye. Or by a regular binocular. You can drive in the dark up into the mountains, a view point control and the head in the nape of the neck. But much better special tours are offer, looks through a powerful night – and solar telescope. The latter has built up the waiting Guide Jesús Mesa Rodríguez on the star.

It is early in the evening, the Wind sweeps over the heights. In the view of the volcano Teide is a mountain, 3718 meters high, Spain’s highest. All around in the Observatory work buildings, the lighting bright dome, and towers like an Open-Air sculpture Park, the star architect of this little work. The sun is actually white, says Rodríguez. Through the Filter of the telescope in the Close up it appears as a fiery red Ball.

A few meters more recreational astronomers are preparing their equipment. Telescopes, Laptops, cables, cameras, tripods velvet counter-weights. A group of Englishmen of the Basingstoke Astronomical Society Expedition Group will turn in for the night and get up in the Morning to stay awake. A week in Tenerife only to see stars. Without a Party, without the Drinks.

“alcohol and night observation are not a good Mix,” says Bob Trevan, 61, a computer engineer. He breathes heavily, the height of 2400 metres, power to him. “To the beach or Pool I can’t do it at all,” says Trevan, who has more than hauling 100 pounds of Material for his expensive Hobby. Similarly, Ian Piper, 46, the home is sold fitted in Crowthorne, Fish ’n’ chips. He raves about the Look on the constellation of Scorpio and the milky way. “So what you don’t get to see in the South of England,” he says.

One of the three best places in the world

Tenerife is considered to be a world top spot for Astro tourism. “This is, together with La Palma one of the three world’s best places for observing the stars, next to Hawaii, and the Atacama desert in Chile,” says Natascia Baldassarri, 44. The Italian astronomer as a colleague of Rodríguez in use and breaks down the reasons for the peculiarity of Tenerife.

The isolated island location in the Atlantic ocean. The great heights. The low light pollution, also through the frequent sea of clouds to the North, the radiation, and moisture prevents. At the very top of 300 days from the point of view of the year. The Air Protection Act. In the summer, the view probability is around 95%, in spring and autumn, at 80 percent, and in the Winter, at 75 percent.

Rodriguez is a so-called Starlight Guide. He leads in the construction of a night telescope, a white dome construct. Inside a Dauersurrton. The expert explains the mechanisms, but the view from here out into the universe remains professional researchers reserved. Too bad.

The time for Amateurs, come back later, outside of the Observatory in the national Park of El Teide, when the sun is sunk. “In heaven we will always look to the past,” says astronomer Baldassarri at the telescope views the globular cluster Messier 13. What looks like a cotton ball, until the earth is 25,000 light-years away.

planets and constellations

In comparison, the planets seem close enough to touch. The reddish Mars. Jupiter, sometimes four moons spread symmetrically. Saturn, whose rings are shaking due to atmospheric turbulence in front of the eye easily, and a Wow-effect trigger.

Far away, all that remains, as well as the North star and the constellations, which He traces with a laser pointer in the sky: the Big dipper, Sagittarius, the Swan, Hercules. No one should have the false expectation that you could capture during the trips, and sky details, as you would sit in a spacecraft or image galleries, clicking on it, like the Nasa on their website.

A familiar as hardly a Second between the earth and the sky above Tenerife, Miquel Serra-Riquart, 52, a PhD Astro physicist and head of the Observatory. For astronomy this is a perfect place for the health needs getting used to.

“Because of the height you get headaches and respiratory problems. After two hours, you will burn the skin. Sometimes the nose bleeds.“ And on some winter days, the Thermometer shows minus 20 degrees.

astronomy automated

most of The time works Serra-Riquart in the geographic lowlands of the island, in La Laguna, the headquarters of the astrophysical Institute of the Canaries, the Observatory on La Palma. Although the research on the increase of projects, waiting the presence of the scientists on Tenerife’s star declined, he explains.

The image of a star-Gazer who sits at night, in the flesh in front of instruments or in the control room, in front of screens, and occasionally a Cup of coffee from the kitchen brings, and with colleagues in the lounge chatting – is the for several years of history.

The reason was the increasing level of automation, explains Serra-Riquart. Now leave via the Internet from the comfort of office or home from the track. Robotic telescopes in the future. “The work of self.” Some are already on the site, with more in the planning.

What is in these projects in the focus? “Asteroid explore”, says Serra-Riquart. The “mines in space”, peppered with precious metals, water, minerals. Since the energy future, if the Deposits are on the earth exhausted, the scientist believes.

the natives looked to the sky

The history of astronomy in the Canaries is not yet fully understood. The Theory that already the natives – the Guanches – observed the sky, won first with most recent studies to weight, says astrophysicist Antonia María Varela Pérez. The 53-Year-old also works at the Institute in La Laguna.

it refers to the Scots, Charles Piazzi Smyth, the have built in 1856, the first high mountain Observatory in Tenerife – in an animal shelter, on a stone pillar. The accessories up, found on the backs of mules to the area around the Teide. The Spanish newspaper “Eco del Comercio” reported at the time that Smyth at two locations in the mountains, a total of 63 nights spent.

more than a century later, starting in the ‘ 60s, distinguished himself Tenerife gradually as a Hotspot of professional astronomy. A pioneer in the mainland Spaniard Francisco Sánchez, led the first international cooperation in the paths. Proud Pérez brings out in her office a stack of documents, which has left her Sanchez for the evaluation.

she Reflects on her own story, reminding you that you as a girl from the balcony of your coastal parents house, saw in the island’s capital, Santa Cruz, and a starry sky as a picture book. This is impossible today, because of the light pollution – it has declared war. The need to raise awareness for the “pure heaven”, a natural resource. The Astro-tourism on the island is the best example of this. Visitors want to observe the stars, you have to leave the light sources and at least 2000 meters.

The sky is alive. And how!

On the island of Tenerife, there is a high probability, but no guarantee for dream eyes skyward. Days later, the group is in the English Observers, Bob and Ian disillusionment. Evaluate although satisfied with the photo yield of the last night, velvet Trifid and lagoon nebula, but dust from the Sahara in the air. The vision is significantly clouded, the nature is unpredictable.

in Contrast, a few kilometers further, the Guide Miguel Ángel Pérez Hernández no prescription. Its a small Agency thrives on the star tourism. The adverse conditions he has notified its customers today in time. Backed out any.

The waxing moon prevented clear views of the milky way. And yet it feels in the darkness off the road in the rugged, dry landscape at the foothills of mount Teide by a special mood captured. The view through a telescope shows the moon as it the most, never to be seen should have: grey, bleaching, such as cement, crater. Silent Fascination.

Otherwise, the following applies: The sky is alive. And how! The faint lights of the satellites without the aid of visible. Suddenly, the ISS appears, distinctive bright, manned space station that disappears just as quickly. Your hell speed can be a vague guess, and just under 30,000 miles per hour. Slowly, Venus passed behind the back of the Teide, similar to cutting with a superior pair of scissors. Then a shooting Star flits across the sky. To fast, to make a wish.

more tips and information on star gazing

directions For example Lufthansa, ( or with Eurowings (

a provider of year-round tours, for example, Discover, Experience (; 25 Euro, English, and Spanish) and Volcano Teide ( leadership Observatory, German, 21 Euro; Astronomical Tour, in English and Spanish, 56 Euro including transfers). Warm clothes and wind jacket in the high altitudes bring, even in the summer.