Volcano Observatory

Mister Writer

The Dark Island from Nicholas Buer on Vimeo.

From a place on the Canary Islands called La Palma. A tropical island with little light pollution. La Palma is the perfect place to capture the Milky Way Galaxy. As Nicholas Buer says:

Milky Way as seen from La Palma Observatory

Volcanic Observatory is one of the best views of the Milky Way Galaxy

Latitude is your distance either North or South from the Earth’s equator. In the Northern Hemisphere the closer you are to the equator the higher the central core of the Milky Way will rise into the sky. La Palma is positioned at 28˚ North, which is a good latitude to photograph the central core of the Milky Way.

Time of year affects the angle in which the Milky Ways appears in the sky. The general consensus is that the Milky Way season starts in March and ends in October. In March the angle in which the Milky Way rises in the Northern Hemisphere is at its’ most acute. As Spring turns into Summer the Milky Ways angle increases tilting until it is upright through the months of June to August, then falls away back on itself slightly through September to November until the core disappears from view through the Winter months.

To achieve the correct angle I had to visit as early as possible in the season and with the new Moon phase of March being the week of the 6th the plan was set. You would think that with La Palma being at a latitude that is on par with Northern Africa the conditions would be favourable any time of the year, but with altitude and the trade winds blowing in, this was not the case.


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