Kitt Peak National Observatory in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona is a great place to go visit. It’s a working observatory that lets you wander the grounds and see some of the telescopes. They also have daily tours of various telescopes. They have the world’s largest collection of research telescopes. It’s home to 25 optical telescopes and 2 radio telescopes, which represent dozens of astronomical research institutions.
When we arrived we were delighted to find out there was a viewing of the sun that day. So we proceeded to the solar telescope and looked directly at the sun! Yes, your mother was right to tell you never to look directly into the sun. Only with special UV filters on this solar telescope were we able to see it without hurting our eyes.
Kitt Peak is at an elevation of 6875 feet. While walking the grounds, you do feel a little winded. David and I were laughing because we thought we were just really out of shape. Then we remembered the elevation height. They do warn people about that.
Next time we are in the area we plan on getting on a list for a nighttime viewing tour. They have nighttime viewings every night, weather permitting. That would be amazing to look up at the sky through the telescopes. They explain what you are seeing so you walk away with some knowledge of the stars. Nothing like your nightly star gazing from your back yard.
As the saying on the back of our rig says, “To Boldly Go…Because We Can!”