MAGIC (Major Atmospheric Gamma Imaging Cherenkov Telescopes) is a system of two Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes situated at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, at about 2200 m above sea level. MAGIC detects particle showers released by gamma rays, using the Cherenkov radiation, i.e., faint light radiated by the charged particles in the showers. With a diameter of 17 meters for the reflecting surface.
Its February I am alone on the side of the caldera, it’s 2.30 in the morning there’s no moon, the altitude is 2325 meters. I am near to Pico de la Cruz. The wind is howling and its becoming very cold. On the inner side of the caldera’s lip it is somewhat sheltered from the weather though I can hear wind several meters above my head whipping and tearing at the scrub and rock. Down below I can see villages through the clouds, a distant orange glow from the sodium street lights. The clouds are licking their way up the massive sheer walls of rock. Behind me on the other side of the mountain the clouds are swirling and gathering in huge weather fronts across the Atlantic ocean occasionally slipping over the top of the Roque de los Muchachos. I have set out a few tiny lights so I don’t fall off the edge. I have three cameras and one on a dolly and two on tripods all aimed at the night sky, there's nothing to do but wait as the cameras click away gathering the unseen.
I decide to climb out over the rim back to the road which runs along the edge of the caldera, as I ascend to the lip the wind is now strong enough to lean into. I scramble over the rocks my head torch illuminating particles of moisture as I walk back to the car. Once inside with the door closed I feel a sense of displacement and unease, somehow the wind becomes nosier within the confines of the car whistling and buffeting. I close my eyes for a few minutes, when I open them my head torch reveals the cars windows are all white, out of the car I find its ice, I check back on my cameras the temperature has dropped and the lenses are heavily condensed.