Michael A. Stecker


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Kitt Peak National Observatory

The Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), founded in 1958, is located 55 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona on a 2,096 m (6,880 ft) peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert (part of the Tohono O'odham Nation).   KPNO operates three major nighttime telescopes, shares site responsibilities with the National Solar Observatory and hosts the facilities of consortia which operate 19 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes. The observatory is run by the National Science Foundation and is considered to be part of the three member National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) -- Kitt Peak National Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile and the Gemini Telescopes (NOAO Gemini Science Center) in Hawaii and Chile.  Some of the telescopes at Kitt Peak are independently run like the MDM Observatory (University of Michigan, et. al.).

Kitt Peak at 31° 58' N, 111° 36' W, has the world's largest collection of optical telescopes, 22 optical and two radio telescopes representing eight astronomical research institutions.

The telescopes are:

Kitt Peak National Observatory
4-meter Mayall
 0.9-meter Coudé Feed
Visitor Center, 0.4-meter

National Solar Observatory
2-meter McMath-Pierce (main heliostat)
0.9-meter McMath-Pierce (east auxiliary heliostat)
0.9-meter McMath-Pierce (west auxiliary heliostat)
0.7-meter Kitt Peak Vacuum
0.1-meter Razdow

WIYN Observatory (Wisconsin Indiana Yale & NOAO)

  Case Western Reserve University Observatory
0.6-meter Burrell Schmidt
Edgar O. Smith Observatory
1.2-meter Calypso
MDM Observatory (Michigan Dartmouth & MIT)
1.3-meter McGraw Hill
2.4-meter Hiltner

MIT/NASA Observatory
 0.18-meter ETC/RMT
(Explosive Transient Camera/Rapidly Moving Telescope)

SARA Observatory (Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy)
  SARA Observatory Steward Observatory (University of Arizona)
2.3-meter Bok Reflector
0.9-meter Spacewatch
1.8-meter Spacewatch

WHAM (Wisconsin Hydrogen Alpha Mapping)

National Radio Astronomy Observatory
25-meter VLBA (Very Long Baseline Array)

Telescope map
Kitt Peak Virtual Tour
Note: 1.0 meter = 39.37 inches


Kitt Peak Photos
mouse click on any of the thumb nail images below for an enlargement

Kitt Peak Turn-off


Kitt Peak members


Kitt Peak panorama


view from the Mayall


Solar Telescope


2.3m & 4m Mayall


4m, 2.3m, 0.9m telescopes


U. Az. 2.3m Bok & Mayall 4m


Mayall 4m dome



Mayall 4-meter  telescope