Kitt Peak National Observatory

category : Observatories
Kitt Peak National Observatory The world's largest collection of optical telescopes is located high above the Sonoran Desert. Kitt Peak, on the Tohono O'odham Reservation, is home to 22 optical and two radio telescopes representing dozens of astronomical research institutions. The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), funded by the National Science Foundation, oversees site operations on Kitt Peak.

Explore the Visitor Center exhibits and gift shop to learn about astronomy. Take a tour and discover how astronomers use telescopes to unlock the mysteries of the Universe. Visit the National Solar Observatory exhibit gallery and watch scientists operate the world's largest solar telescope.

Guided Tours last approximately 1 hour and are led by trained docents who know the history and interesting facts regarding each telescope. Normally, the tours go to the following telescopes; 10am the world's largest solar telescope, 11:30 the 2.1 meter telescope and 1:30 the 4 meter Mayall Telescope (tour last 1.5 hours). Tour locations are subject to change due to maintenance and safety issues.

Docent-lead tours run daily 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Self-guided also available. Open daily. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 25th and Jan. 1st.

Join us for a special experience and use the Visitor Center 16-inch telescope to observe spectacular objects in the night sky. This program is limited to 20 participants and requires reservations made well in advance. This unique program runs daily and is weather-dependent. Explore your Universe!

Admission: Visitor Center donation: $2.00. Guided Tours: Adults, $2.00; Children 6-12, $1.00; 6 and Under, Free.
Reserved Stargazing, $39 Adults, $34 Students
Hours: The Visitor Center is open daily from 9am until 3:45pm.
Address: State Route 86 (Ajo Way)
Phone: 520-318-8726
Our Email:

DIRECTIONS: Kitt Peak is 56 miles southwest of Tucson via State Route 86 on the Tohono O'odham Reservation. Allow 90 minutes of drive time from Tucson. Take I-10 to I-19 South. Less than 1 mile is Ajo Way/Hwy 86 (Exit 99). Take this exit West (right). Proceed past Ryan Airfield and Three Points. Continue until Junction 386 (Kitt Peak turnoff). Turn left onto 386. The Kitt Peak Visitor Center is located at the summit (12 miles).

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