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Kitt Peak National Observatory, AZ

In a winding 12 mile drive from the desert floor to the top of the 6800 ft mountain sacred to the Tohonto O'Odham, one comes to the KPNO. There are 25 optical and 2 radio telescopes up here, under the aegis of the National Science Foundation. My favorite is the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, largest solar observing instrument in the world. A large (~ 5 foot diameter) image of the sun is projected onto a horizontal platform for viewing in real-time! One can observe flares and sunspots without viewing the sun directly! There are also many more sophisticated instruments used in conjunction with this telescope. From inside the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, looking outward. Standing at the base of the exterior. Inside are tracks, with mirror carriages that can be moved up and down the slanted building as required. More views of the observatories from the top. Another view of the observatories from the top and a look out over the desert floor below towards Tucson. For more info directly from the Kitt Peak National Observatory web site click here Last, but not least, a view towards the most sacred mountain of the Tohono O'Odham, Baboquivari. The people believe that the Holy Spirit lives on this mountain. Kitt Peak is also holy to them, so we owe them great thanks for allowing us to use this site. The gift shop at Kitt Peak has the finest examples of Tohono O'Odham handiwork, including baskets and pottery. I own several pieces of these works, purchased over the years here on Kitt Peak. Return to previous page