Kitt Peak National Observatory

kitt_peak_national_observatory_1_-_flickr_-_joe_parks

Kitt Peak -  Credit Joe Parks

Welcome to the Kitt Peak National Observatory, the United States astronomical observatory site that is located on the 2,096 meter Kitt Peak, within the Quinlan Mountains. This Sonoran Desert sparkling gem takes guests on average of about three hours to explore, the site itself holding some of the largest telescopes in the world, a comprehensive visitor center, a gift shop, and several regularly featured programs and workshops. This astronomy hub provides ‘nightly viewing programs and the world’s largest collection of research telescopes’. This means that you’ll get to see the best of the best in worldwide astronomical research and imaging. The groundbreaking research here gives way to three different exciting guest programs that happen all the time, plus regular special community events depending on the weather/astronomical activity.

Be sure to save enough time when you visit to see both the Visitor Center (founded in 1964) and the daily ongoing programs and tours. The three most popular/ most widely featured guest programs include Nightly Observing Program, Dark Sky Discovery Program, and Overnight Telescope Observatory Program. You can also learn about much more of the local culture, this spot sitting on a highly respected cultural heritage center, ‘one of the most important mountains in the cultural heritage of the Tohono O'odham nation’. Be sure to pick up your very own tribal crafts at the gift shop before you leave to learn more about them!

School groups can take advantage of the Daytime School Programs and Youth Overnight Stays, not to mention any community stargazing or ‘Meteor Mania’ viewings. There are also school subject tours and private and/or VIP tours.