Meet the men who protect La Palma’s dark skies

The newspaper Diario de Avisos has published an article today that I recommend strongly to read (if you speak Spanish) or hand over to your favorite translating machine. It’s about the work of two astronomers of the IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Technical Office, OTPC for short. By enforcing the Sky Law, they try to keep La Palma’s skies as dark as possible. >

El Paso’s LED billboard is 60 times brighter than allowed

El Paso’s new LED billboard (featured in my first post on La Palma Lightpollution) was still active on February 25 – despite a complaint filed by the OTPC, the IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Technical Office earlier this month. According to the OTPC, there is no response from the municipality yet, who is responsible for the billboard’s operation. Continue reading

Los Llanos: Poorly adjusted public floodlights

La Palma’s “Sky Law” requires public lighting to be directed downwards to avoid direct light scatter and skyglow. Most streetlights therefore have full cut-off housings. But some lights could be better, much better. One bright example are floodlights, especially the ones used in Los Llanos’ municipal stadium. Continue reading

Tijarafe: Lightpollution by a public school

The purpose of this installation is a mystery to me, but it’s bright, white, and creates significant lightpollution over the small village of Tijarafe on La Palma’s western coast. Oddly enough, it’s mounted on a window of a public education center (CEO Tijarafe). This is what it looks like at night: Continue reading

Astronomical viewpoints, brightly illuminated

One of La Palma’s astronomical attractions is a network of 14 astronomical viewpoints. They are distributed across the island and are equipped with information panels: Some explain constellations, others the planets, the Moon, or other aspects of astronomy. Each one also has a sign that points to Polaris, the northern star. Continue reading