Telescopes I've Seen - Catalina Station

1.6-meter Kuiper Telescope, Catalina Observing Station, Mt. Bigelow, Arizona

Mt. Bigelow 61-inch dome

Among the scattered observatory sites run by the University of Arizona is this one, the Catalina Station on Mount Bigelow in the Catalina Mountains (down the road from Mt. Lemmon). The major instrument is the 61-inch (1.6-meter) reflector originally built for work by the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, especially systematic lunar mapping in support of the Apollo program. This is a heavy-duty telescope, with a very stable mounting, and recently it has seen especially heavy use for infrared work (with a small chopping secondary mirror). The site also hosts a Schmidt camera and a cool ski-lodge style observers' dorm (actually all those construction features are needed, since it does snow enough most winters to open the ski runs above this site). I see from the UA WWW site that this was recently named the Kuiper Telescope, honoring one of the deans of planetary sciences.

LPL 1.5-meter telescope on Mt. Bigelow
Telescope Collection

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