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#995123 - 16th Dec 2015 8:54pm Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9783
Loc: Birkenhead
A Saharan dust cloud is expected to settle over parts of the UK on Thursday, prompting health experts to issue warnings to elderly people and those who suffer from breathing problems.

SOURCE
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#995194 - 17th Dec 2015 1:28pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: diggingdeeper]
Gibbo Online   content
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Registered: 27th Dec 2010
Posts: 1740
Loc: Oxton
Now been downgraded over the NW to low.

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#995208 - 17th Dec 2015 4:08pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: diggingdeeper]
MikeT Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Apr 2010
Posts: 543
Loc: Canary Islands :)
I worked on La Palma (one of the Canary islands) for 14 years at the observatory on the mountain top. When the wind was blowing in the right direction, fine dust from the Sahara (called calima there) was the bane of our lives. It got into anything and everything, especially computers with cooling fans. It settled on the 2 metre primary mirror for the telescope, and we had to wash it off regularly.

Links:

http://apalmet.es/ModeloCalima.php

http://catserver.ing.iac.es/weather/

ps. it's not particularly nice stuff to breathe in, either.




Edited by MikeT (17th Dec 2015 4:09pm)
Edit Reason: fixed typos

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#995211 - 17th Dec 2015 4:21pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: MikeT]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9783
Loc: Birkenhead
Originally Posted By: MikeT
I worked on La Palma (one of the Canary islands) for 14 years at the observatory on the mountain top


What an amazing job to have, I'm highly jealous.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#995213 - 17th Dec 2015 4:32pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: diggingdeeper]
MikeT Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Apr 2010
Posts: 543
Loc: Canary Islands :)
It was very different, that's for sure, working on the rim of the crater of a dormant volcano 2500m above sea level smile

This is the telescope I worked at:

http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/

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#995214 - 17th Dec 2015 4:56pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9783
Loc: Birkenhead
Love the Canaries, been there a few times.

That's a great website for the telescope, lots of interesting detail. I'm electronics which sometimes involved some precision optical work but I never got my head round optics properly. I remember being at meeting at Pilkingtons once and asking one of the most naive questions ever about mirrors and lenses, I needed to ask it at the time but afterwards I realised how bad it was.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#996122 - 24th Dec 2015 10:22pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: diggingdeeper]
MikeT Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Apr 2010
Posts: 543
Loc: Canary Islands :)
I just remembered this movie Andy, you might enjoy it. It shows the Liverpool Telescope operating at night, and a couple of our neighbouring telescopes.

Yes, the night sky on la Palma really is like that. I used to wander out at night while working there, lie on the ground and look up at the billions and billions of stars visible to the naked eye.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eblrsThmK_4

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#996123 - 24th Dec 2015 10:55pm Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9783
Loc: Birkenhead
Brilliant, thank you. Its over 30 years since I camped out in the middle of nowhere - something to add to the bucket list, though I can't see it being at a decent altitude.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#996125 - 25th Dec 2015 12:09am Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: MikeT]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: MikeT
I just remembered this movie Andy, you might enjoy it. It shows the Liverpool Telescope operating at night, and a couple of our neighbouring telescopes.

Yes, the night sky on la Palma really is like that. I used to wander out at night while working there, lie on the ground and look up at the billions and billions of stars visible to the naked eye.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eblrsThmK_4


I envy you that experience, Mike. As a matter of interest, it's reckoned that the maximum number of stars visible to the naked eye from a single location is about 4500, assuming you can see down to magnitude 6.

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Carpe diem.

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#996128 - 25th Dec 2015 6:54am Re: Dust Cloud and Asthma Warning [Re: chriskay]
MikeT Online   content
Smartchild

Registered: 23rd Apr 2010
Posts: 543
Loc: Canary Islands :)
Originally Posted By: chriskay
I envy you that experience, Mike. As a matter of interest, it's reckoned that the maximum number of stars visible to the naked eye from a single location is about 4500, assuming you can see down to magnitude 6.


"billions and billions" is an exaggeration of course, but I assure you from the observatory on la Palma you can see far, far more than 4500 with the naked eye. It is impossible to describe in words - totally awe-inspiring. You don't need binoculars or a telescope. Remember this is above the cloud layer. It's one of the prime sites for astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere, which is why so many telescopes are sited here.

La Palma itself is beautiful - it's not a big tourist destination with concrete horror resorts like the other Canary islands. It's essentially a diamond-shaped island divided by the Caldera de Taburiente in the north (where the observatory is) and the Cumbre Vieja, a line of volcanoes that form the spine running north-south. It has a variety of landscapes ranging from lunar in the south (Teneguia, which erupted in 1972) to lush tropical forest (Los Tilos) in the north and several microclimates. It's a good location for hiking and scuba diving. It's quiet though - not one for party animals. There are beaches at Los Cancajos, Puerto Naos (black sand!), and Tazacorte. There are open-air sea pools at Charco Azul and La Fajana.

The locals are friendly (friendlier once they realise you aren't German - the Germans are not popular). A smile and a few words of Spanish will go a long way.

The Fiesta de Diablo in Tijarafe (8 September every year) is a must-not-ever-miss if you can cope with the drive up and down a perilously steep valley in the dark at 3am with a local in his jalopy attempting to get intimate with your rear bumper. Don't go if you don't like fireworks, particularly in close proximity smile

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05NveiKV9o

If you want a La Palma treat ask in any bar or catetería for "un barraquito con licor" - coffee, cream, liquor ("cuarante y tres"), milk, a slice of lime peel (no peel = it's not a barrquito). Should be served in a glass, ideally with the layers distinctly visible, not mixed together. Sounds horrendous but is to die for.

The airport code is SPC (make sure you're not buying flights to Las Palmas, which is on a different island!) and Thomson fly direct from Manchester and Gatwick. Flight time 4.5 hours. The approach to the airport is, um, "interesting" - over water right until the last minute, and the runway is short. A hire car is essential.

The road to the mountain top (Roque de los Muchachos, 2500m altitude) passes through the observatory and you can see all two dozen telescopes, though you cannot go inside except on official open days - there are people working in them. Drive time from the capital, Santa Cruz, to the peak is about an hour. The road, although paved, is twisty and dangerous with several steep, blind hairpin bends. If you're really lucky you'll enounter one of the buses bringing tourists down and have to reverse back to a passing spot - bearing in mind there are few barriers between you and a loooooong drop before you hear the splash. There are several "miradors" - beauty spots - on the way up where you can stop, calm your nerves and have your breath taken away by the view. Take suncream - high UV at the top because of the thin atmosphere and you will burn fast.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/sunandsea/9867981/La-Palma-guide-the-forgotten-Canary-Island.html

Merry Christmas one and all! thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup


Edited by MikeT (25th Dec 2015 7:04am)

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