Storm Deposits Snow Near Roque de los Muchachos Observatory

June 13, 2022


Photographer: David Herrera Marante

Summary Author: David Herrera Marante

The photo above shows a snowy landscape around the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, just after storm Celia passed through in mid-March 2022. The observatory is located on the island on La Palma in the Canary Islands and is at an elevation of around 7,217 feet (2,200 meters). Combined, the site creates one of the most complete telescope batteries in the world. The largest single-aperture telescope on Earth stands at the center of the picture, the 34 ft or 10.4 m diameter Gran Telescopio de Canarias. Also visible are three telescopes used for gamma ray detection from interstellar high energy explosions as well as the Galileo telescope on the left. Snow occurs here typically once or twice a year, but it quickly melts under a subtropical Sun. Although short-lived, the snow cover is nevertheless spectacular. La Palma is known for its landscapes, its recent volcano eruption, but above all, for having one of the best dark skies on Earth. This photo was taken on March 16, 2022.

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