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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sells, Arizona - Kitt Peak - National Solar Observatory

About 45 min west of Tucson is an amazing observatory that is a "must see".  The observatory sits close to 7000 feet atop a mountain on an Indian reservation.  It is home to the largest array of optical and radio telescopes--over 24 dot the mountain top.  Because it is a working observatory, visitors are limited in which telescopes they can see up close; there are restricted areas...but do no let that detour you from visiting. The scenery is breathtaking as you wind up the road to the observatory

up we go; you can see the first glimpse of a telescope
there are several interesting twists and turns in the road

we are still a good distance away but surprising how well you can see the telescopes...yep, they must be huge
 still some snow up here in late January
no i do not think we turn left!
The observatory sits in the Tohono O'odham Nation.  There are vistas all around the mountain.
almost there

the list of universities that use the facilities
Most of the work around here goes on a night; there were several dorm units. You can walk the entire facility, but be aware there are some steep areas and requires a good set of legs and you are at 7000 feet, so be prepared.  There are several areas visitors can enter and explore but most of the facility is restricted access.
these things are huge!

looking at the sun

There are four different types of telescopes housed in this machine: gold, infrared, infrared cryogenic spectrometer,  and a CCD direct imaging camera.
Looking at part of he complex

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