The severe ice and snow that shut all telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos (ORM) for the last two weeks is now slowly clearing, after temperatures finally rose above freezing on Sunday 11th February. Images on this page were taken by engineering and maintenance support contractor Dirk Raback after he was first able to get to site on Monday 12th. They show the amount of ice still remaining on the LT's enclosure mechanism and elsewhere, and the unusual shapes some of the ice formations took during the ice storm.
The enclosure mechanisms on the north west side of the LT building are still caked in 5-10cm of solid ice. This side doesn't receive any sunlight, so it will probably be some days before that ice is finally gone and we can allow the LT to open its enclosure safely.
UPDATE 21st Feb: Ice remains on the encoders that detect enclosure position, which causes errors in robotic sensing of the enclosure shutters. There is more icy weather forecast for the weekend, so we expect there will be no observing until Wednesday 28th at the earliest.