Kitt Peak At Night - Photo Gallery 1
©2011 by Fred Espenak. All rights reserved.
In 1958, Kitt Peak was selected as the site for a national observatory. Its remoteness from bright lights, a high frequeny of clear weather, minimum air turbulence, and moderate elevation (6,864 feet or 2,092 meters) make the mountain top ideal for astronomy. Located high above the Sonoran Desert in Arizona's Quinlan Mountains, Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) is home to the world's largest collection of telescopes, including twenty-two optical and two radio telescopes. Scientists from around the globe use these facilities for research programs in extragalactic, stellar, solar, and planetary studies.
Below is a partial list of some of the major telescopes atop Kitt Peak. For additional information, see the official KPNO web site.
- Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope, 4.0m: Kitt Peak
- 2.1-Meter, and Coudé Feed, 2.1m: Kitt Peak
- 0.9-Meter, 0.9m: Kitt Peak
- 3.5-Meter WIYN Telescope, 4.0m: NOAO/WIYN Consortium
- Steward Observatory Bok Telescope, 2.3m: Steward Observatory
- Burrell Schmidt, 0.61/0.9m f/3.5: Case Western Reserve University
- Calypso, 1.2m: Edgar O. Smith Observatory
- MDM Observatory, 2.4m & 1.3m: MDM Consortium
- SARA Telescope, 0.9m: SARA
- Spacewatch, 1.8m: Spacewatch
- McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope, 1.6m (f/54): National Solar Observatory
- Kitt Peak Vacuum Telescope, 0.6m: National Solar Observatory
I've made many trips to Kitt Peak to use the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope . This gave me the opportunity to shoot long time exposures at night and capture the graceful arcs of the stars and planets as they rise and set.
The following photo gallery presents a collection of night time and star trail photographs made from Kitt Peak. A second set of photos can be found in Kitt Peak at Night - Gallery 2.
Click on each thumbnail to see a larger image.