Astronomy and night photography in Gran Canaria

More and more people are visiting the island of Gran Canaria with the aim of taking a few pictures of the Milky Way.

How to organise an excursion dedicated to night photography

A few tips about astrophotography in Gran Canaria

In this section, we will give some tips for this activity, which can be a small excursion or even an adventure.

First of all, and before making many plans, it is advisable to check the phase of the moon. Trying to take pictures of the milky way with a full moon is a waste of time.

The astroGC calendar, allows you to know what the moon will be like during the first 3 hours after sunset (which is when the astroGC astronomy workshop takes place). If you want to take pictures later, you will need to use a lunar calendar or an app.


The Milkyway

The Milky Way is the light from billions of stars in our galaxy, which is seen as a luminous halo when we look at the plane of that galaxy. It can sometimes appear as barely visible to the naked eye, but stands out very well with a long exposure photo.

If you want to take pictures of the Milky Way, it will be necessary to check that the plane of the galaxy will be in the sky during the time of the photo session you are planning. To do this, there are a multitude of applications that can show you the position of the Milky Way (and virtually any astronomical object) by selecting a place and a date. I particularly like the Stellarium application for being very complete and easy to use. It is free for PC and has a small cost for mobiles.


Dark sky

It will be necessary to choose a suitable location. As far away as possible from light pollution. In Gran Canaria, the area with less pollution is the West. If in addition, the Milky Way is towards the West (towards the sea), we will be able to enjoy excellent conditions.

In any case, I recommend not to limit yourself only to the Milky Way. You can take very nice pictures of the starry sky without the plane of our galaxy appearing.

I have posted this photo before, but I repeat it, this time at another time of the year, when the Milky Way is not particularly visible, however, it does not diminish the photograph.

It is also interesting to try to take pictures of objects in the sky, in this case, our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda.


Shooting stars

Another interesting activity is to try to take pictures of shooting stars. But this is reserved for real hunters who do not mind staying all night on the lookout:

The weather

Last but not least, it will be necessary to look at the weather forecast. If high clouds are forecast, cancel. If the clouds are low, it is possible that climbing to the summit of the island we can enjoy a particularly good sky, above a sea of clouds that protects us from light pollution.


If you are a bit lost and do not know how to organize this excursion, you can always start by participating in the astroGC astronomy workshop. In this excursion we can provide you with more information and show you some areas of the island where you can take good pictures.


Warm thanks to Pino Gonalsor and Antonio Naranjo for their contribution to the photos in this section.