Exploring Kitt Peak
After arriving at the mountain after dark, I stayed up as long as I could to get used to a night time observing schedule. I only made it to 1am, which I suppose isn’t that bad given the day of riding I had. As a result, I ended up waking up relatively early the next day and so had some time to look around Kitt Peak. I was particularly interested in Kitt Peak’s outreach and visitor program. There are large number of volunteers that do everything from presentations, tours, observing, and even over night stays with visitors on the mountain.
When people arrive at the mountain, there is a wonderful visitor centre there. It has a great exhibit about observing and the history of Kitt Peak, plus a little gift shop.
I couldn’t help myself
This is the dome where they hold free public solar observing daily (subject to weather of course).
The volunteer, Doug, made his observations of the Sun for that day.
I was surprised to see such large crowd of people! I met an elderly couple rom Niagara-on-the-Lake, a couple from Illinois, and also a couple who were from Toronto who ALSO rode their motorcycle up the mountain and who’s nephew is ALSO an astrophysicist. Small world.
I met Doug, one of the many people who volunteer their time to teach people about astronomy. Doug is a retired military Captain and unbelieveably pleasant. We chatted for a long time about outreach. Doug is pointing to two ‘scopes he was using that day: one which sported a white light filter, the other was fixed with an H-alpha filter. The two standards of solar observing.