Kitt Peak and Kitt Peak National Observatory

Tucson, Arizona

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The Kitt Peak National Observatory is located on top of Kitt Peak in the Quinlan Mountains and is on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. At an elevation of 6,882 feet, this giant eye-in-the-sky houses the largest concentration of facilities for stellar and solar research in the world. The primary mission of Kitt Peak National Observatory is optical astronomical research. Solar astronomers work from sunrise to sunset; stellar and planetary astronomers work during the hours of darkness but also, thanks to special scientific equipment, during daylight. Scientists from all over the world regularly visit Kitt Peak. Although the astronomy center employs more than fifty people, only the necessary support staff live on the mountaintop. The rest make the daily round-trip to the summit. There is plenty for the public to see here. You can spend an hour or a full day, depending upon your interest in astronomy. This chapter from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Tucson. Each Day Trip includes destination highlights, places to visit along the way, choice restaurants and lodging, and shopping.

Kitt Peak and Kitt Peak National Observatory Professional Review and Guide

"The Kitt Peak National Observatory is located on top of Kitt Peak in the Quinlan Mountains and is on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation. At an elevation of 6,882 feet, this giant eye-in-the-sky houses the largest concentration of facilities for stellar and solar research in the world. The primary mission of Kitt Peak National Observatory is optical astronomical research. Solar astronomers work from sunrise to sunset; stellar and planetary astronomers work during the hours of darkness but also, thanks to special scientific equipment, during daylight.

Scientists from all over the world regularly visit Kitt Peak. Although the astronomy center employs more than fifty people, only the necessary support staff live on the mountaintop. The rest make the daily round-trip to the summit. There is plenty for the public to see here. You can spend an hour or a full day, depending upon your interest in astronomy. This chapter from the DayTrips series describes many fascinating, exciting, (and many free of charge) things to do, most within a two-hour drive of Tucson. Each Day Trip includes destination highlights, places to visit along the way, choice restaurants and lodging, and shopping."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Tucson
Duration: One day to several days
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for attractions, dining, and lodging are provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to Kitt Peak and Kitt Peak National Observatory

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May 2018