Tucson in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
The WIYN Observatory
The octagon-shaped building that you see in the distance is the enclosure for the telescope of the WIYN Observatory. Completed in 1994, WIYN is owned and operated by the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Yale University, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories.
The WTYN Observatory has been designed to provide the best possible image quality that the Kitt Peak site can deliver. Similar to "shimmering air" rising from a hot road in the summertime, astronomical images are severely degraded by air currents caused by temperature differences between the telescope mirrors and the telescope structure and building. In contrast to the older domes on the mountain, the WIYN enclosure allows wind to flow through it to carry away heat absorbed during the daytime and heat radiated by equipment in the building. The primary mirror is cooled to maintain its temperature at night-time observing conditions.
The 3.5-meter (140 inch) diameter primary mirror of the WIYN telescope is nearly as large as the 4-meter primary in the Mayall Telescope but weighs only one-tenth as much. The light weight of the WIYN primary allows additional weight savings to be made in the telescope structure Consequently, the WIYN Observatory was completed at a fraction of the replacement cost of telescopes built in decades past.
The telescope building is not open to the public.
Location. 31° 57.499′ N, 111° 35.995′ 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.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The McMath Solar Telescope (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kitt Peak National Observatory (about 600 feet away); Steward Observatory (approx. ¼ mile away); The Vacuum Telescope (approx. ¼ mile away).
Also see . . .
1. Kitt Peak National Observatory. (Submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
2. WIYN 3.5M Observatory. (Submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
3. WIYN Observatory on Wikipedia. (Submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. • Air & Space • Science & Medicine •
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 114 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 18, 2017, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.