2020, a year in review, – A New Hope!

January 4, 2021

A look back at 2020 with us from Tenerife.

Well we made it. We have finished the worst year in living memory (for most of us). Never has there been such a Global event since WW2 that has had such a major impact on people’s liberties and health. Not to mention social and economic ramifications that the continuing Virus Cobid-19 has had on us. I was hoping to write an article that didn’t mention it but how could you write a review of 2020 without doing so?

the vans
The new vans on a tour 2020

2020 started with real promise for us at Night Skies Tenerife, with the introduction of two new vans for our customers. We were all looking forward to getting stuck in to working hard after the personal hardships I had suffered in 2019. To start, we did! Our best recorded month being January 2020 for numbers of people who came on our tour. We were showing my favourite deep space objects and although freezing our butts off on occasion were loving doing so.

February came and the Night skies were starting to change for us loosing some of the telescope objects we had been showing for the last few months and gaining new constellations and viewing opportunities. But in February came news that this strange virus from China had spread to Italy. I remember the day I heard on the radio that Italy had closed its boarders, thinking to myself who the hell shuts an entire country down?

Covid 19 Closed
Complete Lock-down Covid-19

?

 

It would only be a few weeks later when my partner Debbie returned from the UK on the 13th March that I would find out. Spain, including the Canary Islands shut its boarders with the talk being of a two week lock down. Well, that two weeks as we all know turned in to a lot longer. In fact, it was announced that they were going to have 0 tourism and that hotels had to get everyone out within a week.

After a few months of no work, following a local lady online at m partners request doing exercises daily on our mobile phone, and having played over 300 games of cards, when it was announced we were allowed out for a walk we could not believe it. It seemed soon after bars could open terraces and life seemed to be slowly returning to Normal. We managed to carry out a few tours for locals (still 0 tourism). It was nice for us as the Night Sky had changed completely, and we would soon be in Planet Season!!

comet in space
The Comet Neowise, not to return for 6800 years to earths eye!

Mid July most countries started to allow international travel and the 33% or less of hotels that could open soon started to fill up. We got remarkably busy fast and the Night Skies didn’t disappoint! Comet Neowise was in the Tenerife skies ad clear to see for a few weeks just after sunset. It was great to see with the naked eye but amazing to see through our telescope. A sight not to be seen again for 6800 years. Seemed a great way to restart the tours after lockdown. By the end of July we were seeing Jupiter & Saturn rise up and always a customer favourite to see we were in planet season.

August seemed to come upon us very quickly and the perseids meteor shower gave us weeks of shooting stars to see. The peak was a crazy night. With great viewing conditions we were joined by what seemed like half the island in wanting to see it. A beautiful show was delivered for us all to see. But as August started to draw to a close, the World News was that countries were starting to impose quarantines on people returning from the canaries and the numbers of visitors to our Islands started to drop once more.

With cases of Covid-19 rising once again throughout September some countries around the world went into second lockdowns by the end of September start of October and restrictions here started to tighten to try and keep our numbers low.

We continued to have tours throughout albeit at lower numbers than usual. Craig and I love what we do, so if people continued to want our tour we continued to operate. The next big month for us was December itself. It seemed as though it had arrived very fast. In December is my favourite meteor shower of the year. The Geminids is a lesser-known shower than that of August but didn’t disappoint with us seeing over 30 shooting stars whilst we were there.

As the planets of Jupiter and Saturn were getting so close to the horizon, we knew we would not be seeing them

Star of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem, in reference to Jupiter & Saturn’s passing.

again until next July. However, they had one incredibly special show left for us! The Great Conjunction. Reported on (yes even by myself) as he Star of Bethlehem.

So, with Xmas and New year over now, it is a poignant moment to reflect on the year that has just passed. As I write this, England has just announced another Lock-Down, but the difference being that there is some light at the end of this extremely long tunnel now with two vaccines now available in the UK. We even have one here in Tenerife now.

Kieran with Scope
Kieran sporting a Night Skies Tenerife Mask setting up our Telescope for a tour.

We are used now to the social distancing restrictions, wearing masks, sanitizing our hands and equipment regularly. Our staff have even been COVID Trained now too! But with all the changes, we hope that as 2021 develops, we will see more of a return to some sort of normality. With resolve and patience, we will see the end of this crisis the World has faced this past year. We may even, albeit cautiously, start once again look to the future with a glimmer of optimism.

We continue to view the Night Skies of Tenerife weekly and we are ready and waiting for your return.

Stay Safe and look upwards to the stars in wonder and ore with the warmth that they will still be there long after this crisis has passed.

Happy New year to you all.

Kieran

 

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Until Next time this Kieran signing off.

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