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Old 04-13-2018, 02:04 AM
 
Location: PNW
2,197 posts, read 734,123 times
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'Just seeking an opinion, and a little information.

We will soon be on a 2-week road trip in Arizona, and my husband wants to see one of these two observatories.

* Of these two establishments, which drive to the peak is less nerve-wracking? I know that is a bizarre question but I often don't do well in climbing drives, especially when they're winding and have too many
drop-offs. I think I am more interested in Kitts, although we may tour the Sabino Mts area.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:13 AM
 
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The University of Arizona's Mount Lemmon Sky Center is good. Especially in June, when we went -- when it's 100 F in the desert and 52 F at the Sky Center by the end of the evening. You'll need jackets. The view is terrific; it overlooks the city in three directions; and you get to see the sunset from there, in addition to the dome and telescope experience. They have various scientists leading the public programs; but we lucked out and got Adam Block, who has had 50+ NASA Astronomy Photos of the Day, which he produces with the same telescope in the public program. We have done both, but Kitt Peak is a long trip; and Mount Lemmon only takes an hour to get to, which is a beautiful drive -- plus you only invest a late afternoon and evening. And you get supper with the program. Probably Mount Lemmon fits your bill better and still gives you the experience. We would definitely do it again.

Welcome to SkyCenter | SkyCenter
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:22 AM
 
564 posts, read 418,625 times
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P.S. You could also take in the U of Arizona Mirror Lab tour on campus, which is a unique experience. As of last November they were working on their fifth mirror casting of seven for the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile.

https://mirrorlab.arizona.edu/
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Old 04-13-2018, 11:53 AM
 
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They are both windy with drop-offs. Kitt Peak is worse, but what a view!
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:19 AM
 
Location: PNW
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Thank you both for your input. It helps a lot.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:58 AM
 
564 posts, read 418,625 times
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Check back if you go to either one; would be interested to hear!
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:41 AM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
18,946 posts, read 21,929,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckystrike1 View Post
'Just seeking an opinion, and a little information.

We will soon be on a 2-week road trip in Arizona, and my husband wants to see one of these two observatories.

* Of these two establishments, which drive to the peak is less nerve-wracking? I know that is a bizarre question but I often don't do well in climbing drives, especially when they're winding and have too many
drop-offs. I think I am more interested in Kitts, although we may tour the Sabino Mts area.

Thanks for your help.
Are you talking about a daytime visit to the facilities or an evening star show?

For a daytime visit Kitt Peak is MUCH more impressive, with roughly 30 big telescopes.

Keep in mind too that Mt Graham offers daytime tours from mid-May through October (though you need to make your reservations in advance - 2 weeks I think). The Large Binocular scope on Mt Graham absolutely dwarfs anything on either Mt Lemmon or Kitt Peak and stands in a cavernous building nearly 15 stories tall. The tour also includes transportation up the mountain, lunch, and a visit to the radio telescope up there and the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope at the top as well. It IS however a REALLY high climb driving up with many, many, many turns and no guardrails - breathtaking but probably too scary for you. The view from 10,500 feet though is astonishing.

Mount Graham International Observatory | An Astrophysical Research Site

Ken
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
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Yes to the above - when we lived in Willcox, AZ, we drove over there in our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS with Rally Red paint one beautiful, sunny SE Arizona day. We didn't visit the telescope location, but, as LordBalfor states above, it is really high up! There is a mountaintop lake to enjoy and plenty of pine trees - we felt like we were back home in the Pacific Northwest again up there. Absolutely beautiful, and, ya know, Alamogordo isn't that far from there that we wouldn't come back one day to visit Mt.Graham again. Definitely worth the visit over there.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Out West
212 posts, read 130,692 times
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If your interest in more focused on astronomy, Kitt Peak is the better choice. Mt. Lemmon is better to enjoy the views and experience the sky island geography. The road up to Mt. Lemmon (which is just a few minutes from where I live) is about 28 miles up a winding road. Kitt Peak is 52 miles from central Tucson and likely has the same winding road to the top. I've been up to "the Lemmon" many times but haven't been out to Kitt Peak. It is a ways from Tucson so the trip would take up most of the day. Mt Lemmon could be a 1/2 day or less.

Sabino Canyon is well worth the visit.
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