Thursday, July 31, 2014

A trip to Cazorla

At least once per year, I usually go to find new places to observe. In the summer you can go to remote high altitude places without the risk of snow, wet roads and freezing temperatures.

It's getting harder and harder to find dark spots in Spain, the light pollution it's getting worse over the years.

This is maybe the darkest place in Spain, with 21,6-7 skies (classic SQM). High altitude of above 1700 meters and no light domes above 10-15º.

M31 is no longer a fuzzy patch, it's clearly a galaxy with nucleus and it's BIG. The milky way extends well into Ophiuchus, and it's extremely complex. The effect is that the sky itself it's glowing, it's clearly bright, without any artificial light shining distracting that view.

The seeing is mind blowing, unless the wind is coming from the South, which is hot and turbulent, and destroys transparency.

We stayed three nights, two of them were 21,4-5 SQM with excellent seeing, and one of them with 21,6-7 and average to good seeing (the weather was changing).

TEC 250 F/12 and AP 900 waiting for dusk at observing site

Above 1700m the pine trees don't grow, we found a clear spot full of thistles and rocks

Back to Madrid, inside Cazorla's National Park

Here you can see some sketches done those days:

NGC 6888, The Crescent Nebula sketch
NGC 6712 and IC 1295 sketch
NGC 7662, The Blue Snowball sketch
NGC 6826, The Blinking Planetary sketch


  1. Hola;
    Ya que andáis buscando lugares buenos para observar te aconsejo que visitéis en Sanabria -Zamora ( Laguna de Peces ) a 1725m y unos cielos muy oscuros.
    42º 10' 08,8" N 6º 44' 06,09" W

  2. Joaquin, muchas gracias por el sitio. Creo que ya tenemos nuevo lugar a visitar.

    Un saludo,