2.1-m Telescope on Kitt Peak

KPNO is a division of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation

M17 in the IR The 2.1-meter Telescope on Kitt Peak opened for visiting observers in 1964.

The 2.1-m telescope has a slumped, Pyrex primary mirror, one of the first of its kind. Its fast focal ratio, f/2.6, allowed a relatively fast Cassegrain focus, a short telescope tube, and a small, inexpensive dome, all characteristics that presaged telescope designs of the current era. The telescope was originally equipped with an imaging camera, a coudé spectrograph, and the Gold and the Black Spectrographs. Instrumentation rapidly evolved to include such instruments as the Intensified Image Dissector Scanner, the Video Camera, and the IR photometers Hermann and the Blue Toad. Current instrumentation includes modern IR array cameras and spectrometers, the GoldCam Spectrograph (with a CCD incorporated into the original Gold Spectrograph), and a CCD imager.

The history of the 2.1-m Telescope includes many important discoveries in astrophysics such as the Lyman-alpha forest, the first gravitational lens, the first pulsating white dwarf, and the first comprehensive study of the binary frequency of solar type stars.

2.1-m under construction
2.1-m under construction
2.1-m on Kitt Peak

Image Caption: The image of M17 above was taken with the IR instrument SQIID at the 2.1-m telescope in 1998 by I. Gatley, M. Merrill, National Optical Astronomy Observatories. This IR image shows the distribution of gas and dust in M17.

Kitt Peak 40th
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Last updated: 31Jul1998
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