Kitt Peak National Observatory


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Kitt Peak National Observatory,

astronomical observatoryobservatory,
scientific facility especially equipped to detect and record naturally occurring scientific phenomena. Although geological and meteorological observatories exist, the term is generally applied to astronomical observatories.
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 located southwest of Tucson, Ariz.; it was founded in 1958 under contract with the National Science Foundation and is administered by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. Its principal instrument is the Mayall 158-in. (4-m) reflector. The observatory's equipment also includes 84-in. (2.1 m), 50-in. (1.3-m), 36-in. (0.9-m), and 16-in. (0.4-m) reflecting telescopes as well as a planned 3.5-m telescope. Used for wide angle photographs and electronic images of the sky, the Burrell Schmidt telescope is operated jointly with Case Western Reserve Univ. The 60-in. (1.5-m) Robert McMath Solar Telescope is the largest instrument of its kind in the world. Stellar research, now part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, includes basic research on galaxies, stars, nebulae, and the solar system. The solar division, now part of the National Solar Observatory, using the solar telescope in coordination with a vacuum spectrograph, analyzes the composition, magnetic field strength, motion, and physical nature of the sun. Other telescopes are located on Kitt Peak, notably those of the National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryNational Radio Astronomy Observatory
(NRAO), federal observatory for radio astronomy, founded in 1956 and operated under contract with the National Science Foundation by Associated Universities, Inc., a group of major universities. The headquarters are at Charlottesville, Va.
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 and Steward Observatory. Any astronomer can apply for time on the telescopes. A telescope allocation committee of astronomers selects the best proposals and time is assigned every six months.
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Kitt Peak National Observatory

(kit peek) (KPNO) An observatory near Tucson, Arizona, USA, at an altitude of 2100 meters. Founded in 1958, it is now one of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). The site has a very large assembly of telescopes. The 4-meter Mayall Telescope began operating in 1973. It has a fused-quartz mirror, focal ratio (f/2.7), Ritchey–Chrétien optics, and Cassegrain (f/8) and infrared (f/16) foci. There are also a 2.1-meter reflector, operational since 1964, the 3.5-meter WIYN Telescope (operated on behalf of the universities of Wisconsin, Indiana and Yale, and the NOAO), and a Schmidt telescope. Facilities of the National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak include the McMath–Pierce Solar Telescope Facility, with its 1.6-meter main telescope and its two 0.9-meter auxiliaries, and the Vacuum Solar Telescope (0.7 m, f/60) and the Razdow Small Solar Patrol Telescope (see solar telescope). There is also the pioneering instrument for millimeter astronomy, first used in 1967 and operated by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory; since 1983 it has had a 12-m aperture and a more accurate reflecting surface.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

 

an astronomical observatory in the USA, located on Kitt Peak (2,095 m) 72 km from Tucson, Ariz. It is under the supervision of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) and has been in operation since 1959, when a 41-cm (16-in) reflector was mounted. It was officially opened on Mar. 15, 1960, when a 91-cm (36-in) reflector was put into operation. Its other instruments include a 160-cm (63-in) inclined solar telescope with a 208-cm (80-in) heliostat (which feeds a 13.7 m [45-ft] spectrograph, a dual spectroheliograph, and a magnetograph) and a 213-cm (84-in) Ritchey-Chrétien reflector with a coudé focus. Its principal fields of research are the physics of the sun and the bodies of the solar system, stellar physics, investigations of the Milky Way Galaxy, and space studies. It publishes Contributions (since 1959).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Analyzing images and spectra taken with the 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz.
astronomers is wrapping up a "portfolio review" for the National Science Foundation, and when the group releases its findings (slated, as we went to press, for late this summer), many suspect legendary facilities such as Kitt Peak National Observatory might get the ax.
A single frame from such a computerized sequence doesn't really tell the full story," says Abt, an astronomer at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz.
Robert Brown and Richard Goody of Harvard University's Center for Earth and Planetary Physics derived a period of 15.6 hours from spectrograms made with the Kitt Peak National Observatory's 4-meter reflector, which they soon revised to 16.3 hours.
"This is an observation that has been needed for some 15 to 20 years," says George Jacoby of the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz.
Thanks in large part to government investment in space telescopes, interplanetary missions, and major ground-based facilities such as America's Kitt Peak National Observatory and the European Southern Observatory, the astronomical and planetary sciences have advanced human knowledge of the universe by leaps and bounds over the past several decades.
Webster says she and her co-workers plan to apply for time on the 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz.
Farther south, outdoor lighting in Tucson became regulated in 1972, the first of many enactments to protect Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO).
She and her collegues used a sensitive infrared detector and the 2.1-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., to record the luminosity of young stars hidden in the dark clouds of the constellation Ophiuchus, some 400 light-years from Earth.
I was a small child in Canada when Kitt Peak National Observatory was founded in southern Arizona in the late 1950s.