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Stargazing at the Orchilla Lighthouse

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.
Altitude
132 m
Protected sky
High degree of sharpness area
Parking
Protected natural space
Localidad
El Pinar

TENERIFE

TENERIFE

GRAN CANARIA

GRAN CANARIA

FUERTEVENTURA

FUERTEVENTURA

LANZAROTE

LANZAROTE

LA GRACIOSA

LA GRACIOSA

LA GOMERA

LA GOMERA

LA PALMA

LA PALMA

EL HIERRO

EL HIERRO
Sustainability
Sostenibilidad
- Never leave waste of any type lying around, including cigarette butts. Leftover food leads to a proliferation of rats and wild cats, which pose a serious threat to the fauna.
- Respect the animals. Do not bother them or feed them. If you see an injured specimen, you can call the emergency number: 112. Do not pick flowers or plants.
- Do not pick up or take away stones or any other item from the natural environment. And do not move them to pile them up into sadly famous 'towers'.
- Turn off car headlights and do not use torches. That will help minimise the light pollution of the sky.
- If you are at an astronomical viewpoint, respect and look after the different items of public furniture (information panels, railings, seats, lighting, binoculars and telescopes, etc.).
- Try and be silent or talk quietly. The experience will be more enjoyable.
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