Astronomía de Montaña - Mountain Astronomy

Fulfillment on the mountain

( Tom Gehrels: "On the Glassy Sea: An Astronomer's Journey", American Institute of Physics, New York, 1988 )

  At first there is waiting, as if for a battle. The sky looks clear, the equipment is ready, the observer feels rested. Evening descends, but there is still time to look out and around from the mountaintop. The view goes far, to other mountains where other astronomers are also waiting in readiness ... The eyes roam over the valleys and mountains, and as the shadows get longer and colors deepen it becomes easier to develop a sense of peace an an understanding of our place in the universe ...

  Slowly the eyes follow the path up the mountain, a trail made by early explorers, challenged and impelled to climb to its peak. They knew that on the summit they would find a fulfillment. They may have realized that the mounintain is a symbol of human longing and conquest, and that on its peak they would rest and sense a fusion of space and time.

  Astronomers knew that this mountain could help them to look back into the past. Here they would observe objects lightyears away to learn how the universe originated. They would build instruments to answer their questions: How do galaxies, stars, and planets originate, and what are their numbers, their conditions, and compositions ? What molecules are there in space ? ...

  But the reverie must end. For an astronomer the oncoming darkness is a call to action. The telescope must be readied, like a ship for sailing ... Power must be turned on for all the equipment to translate into action the question asked of the heavens: " What are you ? "


C/2006 P1 (McNaught), Cerro Paranal (Chile), 21 Enero 2007

Emmanuel Jehin


Hielo glaciar - Hielo cometario / Glacier Ice - Cometary Ice

  Las altas montañas y los cometas tienen interesantes aspectos en común. Las cumbres son lugares privilegiados de observación. El mismo hielo que alimenta los glaciares de montaña, está en la esencia de los cometas. Ese hielo cometario que orbita en la negrura del espacio también duerme en la oscuridad de las profundas cavernas. Disfrutemos observando cometas desde las cumbres, y estudiemos sus hielos ...

  High mountains and comets have interesting aspects in common. Some mountain tops are the best places for observing. The ice that feeds the mountain glaciers is also present in the nucleus of comets. The cometary ice that orbits in the blackness of space also sleeps inside the dark depths of mountain caves. We can enjoy ourselves observing the comets from mountains, and we can also study the ices ...

Jou Negro

Hielo glaciar / Glacier ice

( Juan José González )

C/1996 B2 ( Hyakutake ) - 1996

( José Fernández )

C/2004 Q2 sobre Algol, 17 de Enero de 2005

Sierra del Aramo - Asturias

( Juan José González )

Glaciar del Jou Negro (2300 m)

Picos de Europa - Asturias

Observando desde las cumbres de León en el crepúsculo

Observing in twilight from Leon mountains

Tres Marías (1957 m) desde el Alto del Castro (1727 m)


... El hielo que duerme en la oscuridad de las profundas cavernas ...

... The ice that sleeps inside the dark depths of caves ...


Macizo Central de los Picos de Europa ( 2651 m )


( J. J. González )