“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Tucson in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)

The Vacuum Telescope

The Vacuum Telescope Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 14, 2017
1. The Vacuum Telescope Marker
The Vacuum Telescope
The accompanying picture shows a cross section of the solar vacuum telescope. This facility, built in 1973, is used to study the evolution of sunspots and other solar magnetic fields. It is operated daily by the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in partnership with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. On top of the tower, two flat mirrors track and reflect sun light downward through a window into a vacuum tank. This vacuum tank extends most of the height of the building. Near the bottom of the tank, a curved mirror focuses light back up to another flat mirror which sends the light down and out of the tank through an exit window.
The focussed image of the sun is about 33 cm in diameter. By running most of the optical path in a vacuum The distortions of the image quality by air are avoided. The final image shows details on the Sun smaller than the state of Arizona. The position of the solar image is controlled by a secondary set of lenses and mirrors which provide a smaller image to a guiding mechanism.
Beneath ground level, a large spectrograph spreads the sunlight into its
Vacuum Telescope Diagram image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 14, 2017
2. Vacuum Telescope Diagram
various composite wavelengths or colors. The spectrograph feeds this light to instruments which measure the magnetic field strength and velocity of the visible surface of the Sun. Such measurements are used to predict and help understand solar activity which affects space and earth.
Location. 31° 57.49′ N, 111° 35.715′ W. Marker is in Tucson, Arizona, in Pima County. Marker can be reached from Arizona Route 386 12 miles south of W. Tucson-Ajo Hwy. (Arizona Route 86), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located at Kitt Peak National Observatory in the Tohono O'odham Nation Reservation. Marker is in this post office area: Sells AZ 85634, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The McMath Solar Telescope (approx. 0.2 miles away); Kitt Peak National Observatory (approx. 0.2 miles away); The WIYN Observatory (approx. ¼ mile away); Steward Observatory (approx. 0.4 miles away).
Regarding The Vacuum Telescope. The Vacuum Telescope was built in 1973 and retired in 2002. It was made obsolete by newer instruments which operate a over a wider set of wavelengths. The building still exists.
Also see . . .  Kitt Peak National Observatory. (Submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
The Vacuum Telescope Marker & Building image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, April 14, 2017
3. The Vacuum Telescope Marker & Building
Air & SpaceScience & Medicine
More. Search the internet for The Vacuum Telescope.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.
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