Dawn at 2.1-Meter Dome
Constructed in the early 1960s, the 2.1-meter (84-inch) telescope was one of the earliest Kitt Peak telescopes. The primary mirror weighs 3,000 lbs and and is polished to 4 millionths of an inch. The reflective aluminum coating has a thickness of one thousandth of a human hair.
The 2.1-meter has made many important discoveries, such as indications of very distant clouds of hydrogen gas, known as the Lyman-alpha forest, the first gravitational lens, and the first pulsating white dwarf. It has also been used to image planetary nebula such as the Ring Nebula, and in the first comprehensive study of the binary sequence of solar type stars.
The slender Coudé Tower and an ancillary shed houses a separate mirror used to send light to the Coudé Spectrograph a large optical instrument used primarily for stellar observing. This facility is known as the Coudé Feed.
(Text adapted from Kitt Peak Virtual Tour )
- Title: Dawn at 2.1-Meter Dome
- Subject: 2.1-Meter Observatory
- Location: Kitt Peak National Observatory, ARIZONA
- Camera: Nikon FE with 50mm Nikkor lens
- Exposure: 30 seconds at f/2.8
- Film: Ektachrome 400
- File Name: KP83-206w.jpg
- Original Image Size: 2730 x 3963 pixels (10.8 megapixels); 9.1" x 13.2" @ 300 dpi
- Rights: Copyright 2011 by Fred Espenak. All Rights Reserved. See: Image Licensing.