Visit to Kitt Peak,
Observing with WIYN 3.5m Telescope
Posted: 15 May 2016
Friday, the Thirteenth of May, 2016, was a lucky day with a visit to Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) for our 9th opportunity to do some viewing through the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope. The visit was courtesy of the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences (Mike's alma mater). We were part of a group of IU alumni and staff, some on their first visit to Kitt Peak and some who had attended previous times.
Our hosts for the visit were Dr. Lori Allen, Director of KPNO, and Dr. Eileen Friel, Chair, IU Dept of Astronomy. On his first trip to Kitt Peak was Dr. Jim Musser, College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean for Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Research, and a Professor of Physics. Also in attendance was Dr. John Salzer, former Department of Astronomy Chair and a past host of these special visits. (Here's a very recent IU press release on Dr. Salzer's intriguing new research: Small blue galaxy could shed new light on Big Bang.)
Dr. Lisa Pratt, soon to be a new Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, and currently Chair, IU Dept of Geological Sciences, gave a talk on the geology of Kitt Peak. Bernard Siquieros, Tohono O'odham Nation Elder and Education Curator of Himdag Ki: theTohono O'odham Nation Cultural Center & Museum, accompanied by singing from his wife, gave a dinner talk about the Tohono O'odham Nation.
Here are some scenes at Kitt Peak taken with my Nikon D7200 DSLR.
Some observatories as viewed during the drive up the mountain (WIYN in the center and Mayall 4m on the left):
WIYN as seen during the drive up the mountain:
View across the valley during the drive up the mountain, with Baboquivari Peak on the right:
Tenants on the mountain:
Kitt Peak Visitor Center as seen through the unique optical sundial globe:
McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope:
Flags and 2.1-meter telescope observatory:
Kitt Peak sign:
Tohono O'odham Nation Memorial to past and future Kitt Peak astronomers and staff:
After receiving our badges
we began our hosted tour of the Mayall and McMath-Pierce observatories. We began at the Mayall 4-meter telescope. Here are Drs. Friel (left) and Allen (right), with WIYN in the background:
Dr. Friel speaking with two observers in the 4-meter telescope control room:
Old (left) and new (right) 4-meter telescope controls:
After leaving the control room we saw the 4-meter Mayall Telescope:
Here's a view of Kitt Peak and many of the observatories on the mountain from the Mayall Observatory observation deck:
Next, we saw the mirror coating facility inside the Mayall Observatory:
The final stop in the Mayall Observatory was inside of the telescope mount pier:
Then we visited the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope facility.
Control and observation room:
Our Sun, with some sunspots at the bottom, as viewed on the table above:
Some instruments for solar observations:
Dinner was held in the Kitt Peak dining hall and was catered by the Tohono O'odham Nation Desert Rain Café.
Welcome to WIYN by Dr. Friel:
Bernard Siquieros giving his well-received educational talk on the Tohono O'odham Nation:
Native songs sung by Regina Siquieros:
Following dinner we walked to the WIYN Observatory to view the sunset.
Some observatories at sunset:
Observing the sunset outside of WIYN:
The First Quarter Moon above WIYN:
Information about WIYN Observatory:
Dr. Pratt then gave her Kitt Peak and surrounding area geology lesson outside of WIYN:
Followed the lesson we went inside of the observatory for our special night of observing with the 3.5-meter telescope.
Go to Page 2 "Observing with the WIYN 3.5m Telescope".
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