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The second week


La Palma, also known as "La isla bonita" ("The beautiful island"), is the most northwesterly island of the Canary Islands, Spain. Like other islands in the Macaronesia, this volcanic island has a mild sub-tropical climate. The dominant trade winds create a significant humidity gradient, ranging from the rainforest in the north to the almost lunar-like volcanic landscapes in the south of the island. The northern part of La Palma is dominated by a collapsed volcano, the Caldera de Taburiente, which is 9 km wide and 1,500 m deep. It is surrounded by a ring of mountains that peak at a height of 2,400 m at the "Roque de los Muchachos." The height, well above the inversion layer, along with its particular geographical position and climate, causes clouds to form between 1,000 m and 2,000 m, often leaving the mountain top with a clear and very dry sky. The view from the top is often a sea of clouds covering the eastern part of the island, which is why Roque de los Muchachos hosts one of the most prominent astronomical observatories in the world.



Lessons will take place at two different venues: the first few days at sea level, at the Hacienda San Jorge near the city of Santa Cruz de La Palma, and later on at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory, where the CTAO-North is located. In addition to lessons, the students will visit the telescopes and become familiar with the operations of a functioning observatory. 



It should be noted that during the three days of activities at CTAO-North, students will be at an altitude of more than 2,000 m above sea level. Therefore, students have to consider any medical conditions that may prevent them from working at such an altitude before applying to the school or inform the organizers. Before moving to the Roque de los Muchachos, participants will be informed on how to identify and reduce altitude sickness if it occurs. Additionally, a safety tour will be conducted before activities at the LST-1, the fully-equipped prototype of the Large-Sized Telescope located at CTAO-North.

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