Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kitt Peak Observatory

Driving up Kitt Peak is like hurtling up Mt. Olympus, and if the gods Venus, Mars, Saturn, race through the sky, Kitt Peak is one of the best places on which to worship them. The observatory has roughly two dozen telescopes and some of the clearest, best skies in the US.

The massive dome housing the 4m telescope, the largest optical telescope on the peak
There were a few ladybugs around the base of the telescope.
The 4m telescope.
The largest solar observatory in the world. Another angle of the solar telescope
If You Visit Kitt Peak Observatory:
  • Don't waste your money on the guided tours. Everywhere you go on a tour is open to the public, and if you want a guide, you can download audio tours from the Kitt Peak website. Explore the site at your own pace for free.
  • Bring a lunch. There are some nice picnic facilities but nowhere to buy a decent meal.
  • Bring sunscreen AND a jacket (even in May, I needed a light sweeter).

In my last post, someone expressed skepticism regarding the pervasive nature of light pollution. I've included a link showing light pollution in the US. I should note that some areas that show no light pollution (Kitt Peak) still have problems with city lights at least for purposes of astronomy.


  1. Why are there so many ladybugs around the base of the telescope I wonder. What attract them? This is very curious really.

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