La Palma is a wonderful place for astrophotography - more than 200 clear nights per year at an altitude of 800m and more than 300 clear nights per year at the top of Roque de los Muchachos. No light pollution, comfortable night temperatures and only about 4 hours flight distance from Central Europe. With a latitude of 28 degree all southern objects culminate more than 20 degrees higher than in Central Europe.
In the past, the infrastructure for high-end amateur astrophotography was underdeveloped and astrophotographers were forced to bring their own equipment to the island of La Palma to be able to create high quality astro images. It was always our dream to do astrophotography directly at a finca at La Palma with high-quality equipment and without the necessity to book a lot of excess baggage.
In the new moon phase around the 23rd of July 2017 this dream came true for the CEDIC team (www.cedic.at), consisting of Christoph Kaltseis, Bernhard Hubl, Markus Blauensteiner and our fellow Michael Hanl. With pleasure we followed the friendly invitation of Kai von Schauroth to ATHOS Centro Astronómico, a finca in La Palma, which offers besides an excellent sky and first-class equipment also an outstanding service (both in astrophotography and in accommodation).
We could use the following equipment during our one-week stay:
During a time span of one week up to ten cameras were running each night. Planning and coordinating this huge number of different setups within our team was achieved by using the excellent planning tool of CCD-Guide (www.ccdguide.com).
Despite of the loss of one night because of clouds and limited transparency in two nights because of Calima (a hot, sand laden wind that blows in from the northern Sahara), we could gather raw data for more than 50 images within our one-week stay. We grouped our results in 5 different parts which will be presented here on our web site during the next weeks.