Kitt Peak National Observatory

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Kitt Peak National Observatory
KittPeak.jpg
Overview of some of the telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
OrganizationNOAO
Code695  
LocationTohono O'odham Nation, Arizona, United States
Coordinates
Altitude2,096 m (6,875 ft)
Weather72% clear nights
Website
www.noao.edu/kpno
Telescopes
KPNO Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope4.0 m Ritchey-Chrétien reflector
WIYN Telescope3.5 m Ritchey-Chrétien reflector
McMath-Pierce Solar TelescopeUnobstructed solar reflector
KPNO 2.1 m TelescopeFourth largest on the mountain
Coudé Feed TowerCoudé spectrograph
SOLISMonitors solar variability
Coronado ArrayThree solar instruments used for public education
RCT Consortium TelescopeRobotically controlled
WIYN 0.9 m TelescopeGalactic studies
Calypso ObservatoryRecently acquired by LSST Project
CWRU Burrell SchmidtGalactic studies
SARA ObservatoryVariable stars, undergraduate training
Visitor Center telescopesThree instruments used for nightly public programs
Spacewatch 1.8 m Telescope72 in mirror scavenged from the Mount Hopkins MMT
Spacewatch 0.9 m TelescopeSpacewatch
Super-LOTISDesigned to look for visible signatures of GRBs
Auxiliary solar telescopesTwo 0.9-m instruments
Bok TelescopeVersatile
MDM Observatory 1.3 m McGraw-Hill TelescopeOriginally at Ann Arbor
MDM Observatory 2.4 m Hiltner TelescopeGalactic surveys
ARO 12m Radio TelescopeOne of two telescopes operated by the Arizona Radio Observatory, part of Steward Observatory
VLBAOne of ten radio-telescopes forming the VLBA
DIMM all-sky cameramonitors seeing
 
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Kitt Peak National Observatory
KittPeak.jpg
Overview of some of the telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
OrganizationNOAO
Code695  
LocationTohono O'odham Nation, Arizona, United States
Coordinates
Altitude2,096 m (6,875 ft)
Weather72% clear nights
Website
www.noao.edu/kpno
Telescopes
KPNO Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope4.0 m Ritchey-Chrétien reflector
WIYN Telescope3.5 m Ritchey-Chrétien reflector
McMath-Pierce Solar TelescopeUnobstructed solar reflector
KPNO 2.1 m TelescopeFourth largest on the mountain
Coudé Feed TowerCoudé spectrograph
SOLISMonitors solar variability
Coronado ArrayThree solar instruments used for public education
RCT Consortium TelescopeRobotically controlled
WIYN 0.9 m TelescopeGalactic studies
Calypso ObservatoryRecently acquired by LSST Project
CWRU Burrell SchmidtGalactic studies
SARA ObservatoryVariable stars, undergraduate training
Visitor Center telescopesThree instruments used for nightly public programs
Spacewatch 1.8 m Telescope72 in mirror scavenged from the Mount Hopkins MMT
Spacewatch 0.9 m TelescopeSpacewatch
Super-LOTISDesigned to look for visible signatures of GRBs
Auxiliary solar telescopesTwo 0.9-m instruments
Bok TelescopeVersatile
MDM Observatory 1.3 m McGraw-Hill TelescopeOriginally at Ann Arbor
MDM Observatory 2.4 m Hiltner TelescopeGalactic surveys
ARO 12m Radio TelescopeOne of two telescopes operated by the Arizona Radio Observatory, part of Steward Observatory
VLBAOne of ten radio-telescopes forming the VLBA
DIMM all-sky cameramonitors seeing

The Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) is a United States astronomical observatory site located on 2,096 m (6,880 ft) Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O'odham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona. With 24 optical and two radio telescopes, it is the largest, most diverse gathering of astronomical instruments in the world.[1] The observatory is administered by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO).

General information[edit]

Kitt Peak was selected by its first director, Aden B. Meinel, in 1958 as the site for a national observatory under contract with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was administered by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. The land was leased from the Tohono O'odham under a perpetual agreement. The second director (1960 to 1971) was Nicholas U. Mayall. In 1982 NOAO was formed to consolidate the management of three optical observatories — Kitt Peak; the National Solar Observatory facilities at Kitt Peak and Sacramento Peak, New Mexico; and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The observatory sites are under lease from the Tohono O'odham Nation at the amount of a quarter dollar per acre yearly, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Council in the 1950s. In 2005, the Tohono O'odham Nation brought suit against the National Science Foundation to stop further construction of gamma ray detectors in the Gardens of the Sacred Tohono O'odham Spirit I'itoi, which are just below the summit.[2]

The principal instruments at KPNO are the Mayall 4 metre telescope; the WIYN 3.5 metre telescope; and further 2.1 m, 1.3 m, 0.9 m, and 0.4 m reflecting telescopes. The McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope on the facilities is the largest solar telescope in the world and the largest unobstructed reflector (it doesn't have a secondary mirror in the path of incoming light). The ARO 12m Radio Telescope is also in the location.

Kitt Peak is famous for hosting the first telescope (an old 91 cm reflector) used to search for near-Earth asteroids, and calculating the probability of an impact with planet Earth.[3]

Kitt Peak hosts an array of programs for the public to take part in:

Kitt Peak's Southeastern Association for Research and Astronomy (SARA) Telescope was recently featured in the WIPB-PBS documentary, "Seeing Stars in Indiana". The project followed SARA astronomers from Ball State University to the observatory and featured time-lapse images from various points around Kitt Peak.[6][7]

Photos[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). "Kitt Peak National Observatory". Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Astronomy development on another sacred mountain: Kitt Peak". Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Spacewatch Project". Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "Kitt Peak Visitor Center & Museum: Nightly Observing Program - Program Description". Noao.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  5. ^ "Kitt Peak Visitor Center & Museum: Advanced Observing Program - Introduction". Noao.edu. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  6. ^ Kevin Grazioli. "Seeing Stars in Indiana". Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  7. ^ Seeing Stars In Indiana (Adobe Flash Player) (in English). 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]