Negotiations took place and the Native Americans finally agreed to lease the land. Construction began in 1958 and the first telescope was installed. Today there are over 25 different telescopes nestled on top of this rugged mountain. The visitor's center was built in 1964 allowing tens of thousands of visitors per year to learn about astronomy. The mission of the visitor's center is to inspire a sense of wonder and awe about the Universe, through exhibits, tours, and public programs. The Nightly Observing Program is one.
From our campground in the Tucson Mountain Park, I headed west down Aho Way. As soon as I turned west, I figured that the mountains that I could see housed the National Observatory. In Photoshop I zoomed in and spotted one of the telescope domes. Notice the arrow below.
I am driving the RV, so I was nervous about driving 12 miles up to a peak that is nearly 7,000 foot tall -- but I did it.
Here is the view of the peak from the access road.
I stopped in a pull out half way up the mountain to get a few shots.
In the parking lot is a decorated mirror from one of the telescopes.
There are 23 different universities and groups that operate equipment on Kitt Peak. Some of them operate their telescope remotely, such as one that is in Florida and works from there.
This is a shot of the visitor's center.
In the visitor's center is this awesome meteorite that was recovered in Argentina. Scientists believe that this meteorite hit earth a few thousand years ago.
Outside the visitor's center is a display with this Native American artifact.
Here are a couple of shots from the top of the mountain looking out over the valley floor.
After orientation and dinner, they walked our group of 42 up to the west side of the mountain to watch sunset. Wow.