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.

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.

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).

References in periodicals archive ?
On Monday, astronomers at Kitt Peak Observatory "were a little bit worried and depressed" because the comet produced a classic sign of flaming out, Lisse said from the Arizona telescope.
Thorstensen of Dartmouth College, using a 94-inch-diameter telescope at the Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona, found a visible afterglow.
Observers at the Kitt Peak Observatory have documented the rise in both chlorine and fluorine in the atmosphere over a 20-year period, and observatories in the Swiss Alps have noted the increase for 40 years.
Among the state's astronomical centers are Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff and Kitt Peak Observatory west of Tucson.