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Observatory Improvements

The observatory will be closed June 18 through July 1 for shutter seal replacement. As part of the new heated roof contract, the p-seal and flapper seal used to seal the gap between the two shutter halves when in the closed position will be replaced. This work was scheduled to take place before the start of the monsoon season. Regular shutdown will be July 24-August 13 during which various maintenance tasks are scheduled.

MMTO at the SPIE meeting in June

Six staff members will be presenting talks or posters in June at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation meeting in Austin, TX. Topics include the re-aluminization as well as wet-washing in-situ of the 6.5-m primary mirror, queue scheduling software for instruments, wavefront sensor control and analysis, seeing statistics, and an overview of current and future upgrades to MMT instrumentation. Information on the Arizona Robotic Telescope Network will also be presented.

Tour Information

We were pleased to welcome the Smithsonian Journeys tour to the MMTO on May 15. Regularly scheduled tours are also available most Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Reserve your spot by calling 520-879-4407. More information can be found here.

Tour Information

We hope you were able to visit our table at the recent Tucson Festival of Books! A virtual tour of our observatory was enjoyed by many! Reserve your spot for a real tour by calling 520-879-4407! More information can be found here.

Fri., April 20 - Stargazing at Historic Canoa Ranch

F.L. Whipple Observatory and the historic Canoa Ranch bring you Stargazing at Canoa on Friday, April 20. There will be a presentation from 6:30-7:30 followed by stargazing from 7:30-9:30pm (weather permitting), courtesy of the Sonora Astronomical Society. The Ranch is located south of Green Valley, following the Canoa Ranch Dr., exit 56, off I-19. A map and more details can be found here.

Sat., April 7 - Kartchner Caverns Star Party

Dr. Grant Williams, MMTO Director, will give a talk at the Kartchner Star Party on Saturday, April 7. Join him at 5:30pm in the Discovery Center and learn about "The Three Dimensional Nature of Supernovae: Are Exploding Stars Round?" Telescopes will be set up outside before and after for solar viewing and stargazing. More information can be found here.

Smithsonian Lecture Series on Astronomy - April 4

The final lecture for this year will be held on Wednesday, April 4. Dr. Stephanie Juneau, of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, will speak on "Black Holes, Galaxies, and Cosmic Fireworks." Join us at 9:00am at the Green Valley Recreation Center for this interesting topic! The talk is free and open to the public.

Stargazing at Historical Canoa Ranch - Fri., March 16

Join Sonora Astronomical Society volunteers as they set up their telescopes for viewing between 6:00-9:00pm, weather permitting. Be sure to bring a flashlight and lawn chair. Come earlier and take a self-guided tour of the Historical Canoa Ranch. Take I-19 south from Tucson to Canoa Road, exit 56. The address is 5375 I-19 Frontage Rd, Green Valley. All ages are welcome!

Smithsonian Lecture Series on Astronomy - 2018

Join us for the 48th year of this lecture series held on Wednesdays at the Green Valley Recreation Center at 9:00am. Each lecture is 45 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer period. All lectures are free and open to the public. Click here for the dates and the list of speakers and their topics. We hope to see you there!

Wed., March 14 - Smithsonian Lectures on Astronomy

This series continues on Wednesday, March 14 with Dr. Emilio Falco of the F.L. Whipple Observatory. The title of his talk is "How Bright is Your Night Sky?" Join us at 9:00am at the Green Valley Recreation Center. The talk is free and open to the public.