Kitt Peak Visitor Center

Welcome to Kitt Peak National Observatory, home to one of the largest arrays of optical and radio telescopes in the world. In addition to conducting ground-breaking astronomical research, the Visitor Center programs are open to you through daytime guided tours and a variety of evening stargazing programs. Explore this website to see what’s right for you. Please note, no one may visit after dark for any purpose unless registered for one of our evening programs.

The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM for daytime visitors and volunteer-led tours. The Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Sometimes it is closed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as environmental events, that are beyond control, so please check before ascending the mountain.

The Kitt Peak Visitor Center is your first stop on any visit and your springboard to informative daytime tours, nighttime stargazing and telescope viewing programs, fascinating exhibits, a terrific gift shop, and beautiful panoramic mountaintop views!



Windows on the Universe Center for Astronomy Outreach

Read about an impressive new astronomy outreach facility being developed within the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). It will enable the public to experience the cutting edge research being carried out at Kitt Peak and NSF’s other astronomy facilities around the globe.

Click here to learn more

Daytime Programs

We offer you a variety of experiences such as guided tours and exhibits during daytime hours, along with spectacular views of surrounding mountains, desert valleys, and the flora and fauna of a unique sky island ecosystem.

We offer three docent-led tours on most days to three different large research telescopes, live views of the Sun (whenever weather and volunteer staffing permits), and an array of indoor and outdoor exhibits. Plus, the nearly 7,000-foot mountaintop is one of the prettiest spots in southern Arizona providing panoramic views stretching up to 100 miles. Please note that wheelchair accessibility is limited in most of our telescope facilities. Please see details by clicking on the More Info button below or the Planning Your Visit button.

Information on Daytime Programs

Nighttime Programs

View objects of the cosmos through Visitor Center telescopes! See planets, nebulae, galaxies, star nurseries, and more. Learn to identify constellations in the sky on the night of your visit.

We have four exciting programs for you. Our Nightly Observing Program, Dark Sky Discovery Program, Night of the Marvelous Moon, and the Overnight Telescope Observing Program are all available utilizing the Visitor Center’s high quality telescopes. The programs vary by topic, learning level, and audience size. A clear night on Kitt Peak is not to be missed or soon forgotten. The nation's observatory was built here for its dark, frequently clear skies and you can share in those views.

Information on Nighttime Programs

DARK SKY DISCOVERY PROGRAM

Participate in our very popular program on nights to spend more time on the telescope to view the objects in the sky! This program is limited to 10 guests to make it more personalized. For quick access go to Dark Sky Discovery Program for more information.

NIGHT OF THE MARVELOUS MOON

Participate in our program on nights when the moon is brightest! For quick access go to Night of the Marvelous Moon for more information.

Planning Your Visit

Important things to know, including accessibility issues

Learn about accessibility limitations at the observatory. After you have learned about our Tours, Stargazing, Programs, and Exhibits; then please read this section with important information about how to plan your visit, find us, get the most from your time with us, and stay safe and comfortable.

More Info

Tours, Stargazing, Programs, and Exhibits

What we have for you

Whether you wish to visit during the day to catch a guided tour, visit at night to learn the constellations and view through a telescope, or even reserve a telescope all to yourself, we have something for you. Daytime and evening programs, VIP Tours, programs for schools and youth groups, exhibits, and facilities are described here.

More Info

Work, Join or Support

Help us continue

Work for us! We are seeking a Volunteer & Membership Coordinator! Click below to see more

Although many operations of the Observatory are funded by the US Government, the Kitt Peak Visitor Center and its programs are not. This creates an enormous challenge. We rely upon program fees, ticket sales, gift shop sales, and the special generosity of people who believe that sharing astronomy and making the Observatory accessible to the world is important. You can become a Kitt Peak Member, make a tax-deductible gift, or donate needed supplies or equipment. If you wish to work for us, please click the More Info button to learn about our hiring needs.

More Info

Volunteer

Become a docent

If you are service-minded and astronomy-interested, enjoy meeting people, and you would relish the opportunity to work at one of the most scenic spots in southern Arizona then consider joining our Docent Program.

More Info

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