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Archive for May 25, 2011


Mt Lemmon SkyCenter is left over Air Force Radar Base with Command Control Communications for Titan Missile Bases deployed during the Cold War in the Tucson Basin.
Hawk Eye Mark Kimble points the way…
Our recent outing to the Mt Lemmon SkyCenter was probably the most refreshing experience I have had in months. After a slide briefing and a tasty light dinner the group moved from the Education Center to the mountains western edge to enjoy the sun set on Northwest Tucson and to look for the amazing “green flash” … As darkness fell we familiarized ourselves with starfinders and exploring the constellations in the sky overhead with binoculars and then moved inside to explore with the 32 inch scope. It continued to get chilly and before the program ended around 10 pm, it was flat out cold. Perhaps, the most amazing view we enjoyed was the large scope’s view of Saturn. We also visited various nebuli edgewise or otherwise, enjoying many age old views dating back to the beginning of the universe …

The SkyNights experience is offered nightly throughout the year. Learn the constellations, observe interesting atmospheric phenomena, and view the wonders of the cosmos from a high-quality astronomical site using an outstanding new 32-inch Schulman Telescope…Arizona’s largest dedicated public viewing telescope !
ASTRONOMER NIGHTS is a Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter program in which visitors observe as professional astronomers for 1 or 2 evenings. As a visitor for this extended observing program, YOU become the astronomer investigating the cosmos and deciding how the night unfolds. This unique astronomical experience for $750 a day includes: observing at a telescope with an astronomer/guide, acquiring high quality data, lodging on site in astronomer dormitories, and data and image processing by astrophotographer Adam Block.
YOUTH OBSERVER NIGHTS SkyCenter provides programs to youth groups (middle school and older) to learn about the night sky. SkyCenter staff will modify our standard program for your group based on your needs. SkyCenter has worked with school groups, girls scouts and boy scouts and clubs. Groups have access to the 20-inch Jamieson telescope or the 32-inch Schulman telescope. These programs can be overnights as well as one evening.
Discovery Days is a summer/fall day-time weekend opportunity to escape the summer heat. UA Science hosts various hands-on and family-oriented activities at the SkyCenter such as investigations of hummingbirds, solar observing, searches for near-Earth asteroids, and tree-rings. During 2011, Discovery Days will open the facility the third Saturday of June, July, August and September from 10 am to 4 pm. Join in various activities and learn about the history of the site while escaping the heat. You can stay for the SkyNights program (separate cost) to complete your investigation of science on the mountain. $8 adult and $5 children (12 and under)
SKY ISLAND CAMPS AND WORKSHOPS explore the science and culture of the unique sky island environment, from the forces that built the mountains to the impact of fires to the amazing night skies. Cost includes use of telescopes and telescope operation, rooms (double occupancy), and all meals. Adult-to-camper ratio is 1:6 with separate accommodations (with supervision) for male and female campers. You’ll leave from the UA early Monday morning and return late Friday afternoon. The exact schedule for the camp is weather dependent, but suggested activities include time on the 32-inch Schulman telescope, a Laboratory of Tree Ring Research project, and exploration of geology, ecology, art, and photography. This is a UA Science program in conjunction with Biosphere 2. For more information, visit http://www.outreachcollege.arizona.edu/youth.
THE SkyCenter’s Astrophotography program is a unique and awe-inspiring opportunity to peer beyond the blue horizons of southwestern skies and explore the astronomical wonders of the Universe. We’ll not only looking through the telescope but also capture the views through a CCD camera. Reknown astrophotographer, Adam Block, will take you through the process of how he creates these amazing images that have earned him worldwide recognition. During this six hour program you will navigate the night sky with binoculars and skycharts then gaze at spectacular planets, galaxies, and nebulae with the 32-inch Schulman Telescope. Cost: $75/person

Saturn Astrophotography by Adam Brock on the Mt Lemmon SkyCenter 24 inch telescope

Pusch Ridge viewed from Tucson NorthWest side is an hour’s drive and at least 35 miles away. Mt Lemmon distant green ridges at left