Kitt Peak National Observatory VIP Tour
Posted: 28 October 2019
As part of the "First Annual David H. Levy Arizona Dark Sky Star Party", held at Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona, 23-27 October 2019, there was a VIP Tour of Kitt Peak National Observatory on Thursday, 24 October.
We visited the 4-meter Mayall Telescope.
Views from the viewing deck on Mayall dome.
Inside the 4-meter telescope pier.
Mirror re-aluminizing tank.
We then visited Steward Observatory, which was originally in Tucson on the University of Arizona campus. In 1916 a resident of Oracle, Lavinia Steward, donated money to start the observatory.
We saw the original 36" telescope that was on the University campus beginning in 1923 before being moved to Kitt Peak in 1963.
We also saw one of the telescopes used for the Spacewatch effort, looking for potentially hazardous asteroids.
Our last stop was the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope.
On Friday, 25 October, Indiana University and the IU Department of Astronomy had its 11th special visit to Kitt Peak for selected alumni to view through the WIYN 3.5m telescope. As my wife and I were attending the Star Party at Kartchner Caverns we had to miss it. This is the first one we have missed; you can see reports on our 10 previous reports on the Visits to Other Observatories page. We were able to have lunch with Rick Van Kooten, Executive Dean, and Jeff Stuckey of the College of Arts & Sciences, who drove to Kartchner Caverns State Park. During the lunch I was surprised and honored with the presentation of an IU Bicentennial Medal for my work in public outreach and science education.
This was a totally unexpected but much appreciated award.
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