An observatory by the sea and the former location of the Prime Meridian
The Orchilla Lighthouse is in the west of El Hierro and is very easy to drive to. It offers a natural platform to observe the skies beside the Atlantic Ocean with virtually no light contamination. As well as its important astronomic value this place also has historic value: in the 17th Century the area was chosen as the Prime Meridian until it was changed to Greenwich in 1885.
View the Taurus constellation announcing the end of autumn
As darkness falls in Orchilla in November look to the east with the sea at your back and the lighthouse to the left and you can see a constellation marking the end of autumn. This is Taurus, with its characteristic shape of a head with parallel horns. In the head, where stars form the shape of a V, one star shines brighter than the others – Aldebaran, an Arab name meaning 'the follower' as it appears to follow the Pleiades during its orbit. To the naked eye it resembles a comet, but with binoculars or a telescope you can see the splendid display.
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