Kitt Peak Visitor Center

Help ensure our future ability to host and educate the next generations of guests through any of these means of support


Work, Join or Support


The Visitor Program came into being in 1964 at a time of strong financial support from the US Government. For over 50 years we have continued reaching each new generation. The days of government support of the visitor program are gone. Yet we hope to reach the new generations for the next 50 years. You can help us achieve this goal.

The Kitt Peak Visitor Center is a 501 (c) (3) Non Profit organization through its parent organization AURA.

Donation Types

The Visitor Center accepts donations both monetary and equipment.

Contributions to the Visitor Center are tax free as allowed by law. The Visitor Center relies upon revenues and donations to support its mission.

Donations can be restricted for a certain project. We accept donations from individuals and corporations.


Persons wanting more information about donating can do so by contacting William Buckingham 520-318-8163
or email: WBuckingham

Please make checks out to AURA and mail to:

NOAO attn: William Buckingham

950 N. Cherry Ave.

Tucson, Az 85719

Giving For The Future

We seek your support in the following critical areas:


Currently we have no endowment to assure smooth, planned operations and get us through lean years. We would like to establish a restricted endowment to provide interest income to supplement our sales and tickets revenue, which currently do not fully fund our program operation. Such a fund would also reduce the need for periodic price increases in tour and nighttime program tickets, enabling our programming to remain affordable to as many people as possible.

New Visitor Center Exhibits & Facilities Improvements

The entire Kitt Peak setting lends itself to serving as a wonderful immersive interdisciplinary learning environment for all aspects of astronomy, engineering, and the natural sciences. We seek your assistance in making improvements to the Visitor Center and replacing a number of old, worn exhibits. We would like to add new outdoor interpretative displays across the mountaintop campus including a scale model of the solar system, a history of the universe walkway, and exhibits illustrating the mountaintop ecology, flora, fauna, and geology. We have not begun to reach this potential but you could make this possibility a reality with your support. We would be happy to share our plans with you.

Visitor Program Facilities Improvements

Although perhaps less glamorous than some of our needs, no programs or stargazing experiences are possible without adequate infrastructure. Expanded and improved restrooms are sorely needed. The addition of solar power panels would reduce our carbon footprint. A variety of expansions and improvements would add to our ability to impact and educate our visitors. The addition of a separate lecture hall, a planetarium, or Science on a Sphere theater would enable 'round the clock expanded programming without regard or concern to weather. More efficient, quiet air conditioning and heating systems would improve visitor comfort and reduce our utility consumption. Our needs are both big and small and any of them could materialize with your support.

Planned Giving

Speak with your financial advisor about including the Kitt Peak Visitor Program in your estate planning or life insurance beneficiary list. It is a terrific and painless way to touch future generations and show your support for our astronomy outreach and education efforts. Your support will assure that we will reach the next generations. Your bequest could be structured and directed to support one or more aspects of our visitor programs, telescopes, exhibits, facilities, endowment or general operations. We would be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

Memorial Donations

Is there an extraordinary person who has made a difference in your life? Recognize those who have given so much by making a gift to Kitt Peak in their name. We will also send the recipient's family an acknowledgement to notify them.


Visitor Center Wish List

The Kitt Peak Visitor Center receives no federal tax dollars for its operation and relies totally on public donations and revenue generated from sales in the Gift Shop and public programs.

This wish list includes items that we need: some are dreams; others are needed replacements. Please contact William Buckingham (520-318-8163) with any questions that you may have. Your contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.

  • Visitor Center Expansion: $3.5 million (naming opportunities are available)
  • Visitor Center Telescope Replacement: $126,000
  • New Computers: Mac or PC’s
  • CCD Cameras
  • Advertising: in kind or dollars
  • Exhibits related to Astronomy
  • Volunteers for the gift shop and guides

Donor Wall

A very special thanks to those who believe in our mission and have given generously to support our programs!

In Support of the Visitor Center:

Meade Telescope
Coronado Solar Array Telescopes
Mittlestat Family Trust, Rose K. Mittlestat
Harris Bank
Stephen F. Jacobs
Sun Clock
William and Janet Romanishin
$5,000 towards the Telescope Fund

In Support of the NOP/DSD/OTO Programs:

The Vernon H. Haase Foundation
R Jay GaBany
Takahashi FSQ-106 Telescope
Ash Manufacturing Company Inc.
Donation of Ash Dome
Santa Barbara Instrument Group
CCD Imaging Cameras and Accessories
Dean Salman
Computers, Monitors, and Accessories
Innovations Foresight, LLC, Dr. Gaston Baudat, President
On Axis Guider (ONAG) and Astigmatism Corrector Lens

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