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 Stargazing festival to take place in Tenerife

Stargazing festival to take place in Tenerife
10 Feb 2014

Tenerife is to host the second edition of the Starmus Festival this coming September, it has been announced.

The sunsoaked island, which is best-known for its beaches, last played host to the science, art and music extravaganza in 2011, when the likes of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin - the first men on the Moon - were keynote speakers. 

Between 22 and 28 September, the Canary Island will once again welcome prominent astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize Winners and figures from the sciences, the arts and the world of music under the banner 'Beginnings: the making of the modern cosmos'.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the Teide Star Party, an evening of stargazing in the Teide National Park, which was last year designated as a Starlight Reserve by the Starlight Foundation on account of its excellent night sky viewing conditions. 

A combination of low levels of light and air pollution, year-round good weather, clear skies and high altitude - Mount Teide is Spain's tallest mountain - mean visitors can see thousands upon thousands of stars on clear nights.

Having been named a Starlight Reserve, officials on the island hope that, in the future, it won't just be the island's beaches and good weather that attract visitors. 

'We are really looking forward to welcoming astronomy fans and scientists alike and showing them that Tenerife has the best conditions and facilities to become the world's astronomical capital,' commented Carlos Alonso, president of the Council of Tenerife. 

Ireland is another destination hoping to welcome more stargazers in 2014, following the creation of the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve - the first in the northern hemisphere to be awarded 'Gold' status - by the International Dark Sky Association. 

In parks rated 'Gold' quality, visitors can expect to be able to spot phenomena such as the aurora, airglow (weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere), the Milky Way, zodiacal light (known as 'false dawn') and faint meteors. ADNFCR-408-ID-801691794-ADNFCR

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