The National Optical Astronomy Observatory consolidates much of the optical astronomy in the United States into one office. Its main locations are the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) in Arizona, and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. This week, I’ve travelled to KPNO with my supervisor, Dr. Patrick Hall, for a 7 night observing run on the Steward Observatory‘s 2.3m Bok Telescope.* Both the NOAO and the Steward Observatory (which is a tenant of KPNO) have their main offices located on the campus of the University of Arizona (whereas the telescopes of KPNO themselves are an hour west on Kitt Peak Mountain). Since Pat and I were travelling to the mountain, we elected to give a Friday Scientific Lunch Talk (or FLASH talk) at the NOAO offices.
The south east corner of the University of Arizona’s campus. Notice the massive football stadium in the far left background. Go Wildcats.
The entrance to the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) main office. It is directly across from the UofA Astronomy Department/Steward Observatory; however, the NOAO is NOT part of the University.
This picture is taken from the exact same location as the picture above (of the NOAO entrance); they are directly across the street from one another. The Steward Observatory is the research arm of the Department of Astronomy at UofA.
The title slide of my talk for the NOAO. Click the picture, or here, for a copy of the slides.
* Earlier in 2014, I also spent a week at the Bok telescope, see posts here, and here, and here, or just look at all of these.
Day 3: Kitt Peak, AZ to San Diego, CA
Distance: 722 km
Duration: approximately 10 hours
Total Distance: 2100 km (see previous posts here and here)
The route back from Kitt Peak. Click the image to see the interactive map I made.
There really isn’t much to say about this ride; it was really just a ‘get there’ kinda day. The amazing thing was that it was a relatively easy drive. I was running on 3 hours sleep (after being at the telescope for 12 hours) yet I still made it home ahead of schedule. Since that was the case, I went straight to the ocean.
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean. I made it to the ocean about 45 min before the Sun set over the water. I drove to the famous Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, took some pictures, and then waited for the Sun to set. It was more relieving than I thought when I got there. Knowing I had finished.
The bike, after completing 2100 kilometers from San Diego, to Flagstaff, to Tucson, to San Diego. Good ride.
In California and Arizona there is far too many landmarks to see, too many amazing roads to ride, too much unseen scenery, and far too many mountains to climb with just 3 days to do it.
The one thing I learned on this trip: I have to go back.