The Kitt Peak Virtual Tour


With a primary mirror of 36 inches, the 0.9-Meter Telescope is the smallest research telescope operated by Kitt Peak National Observatory. Yet, it remains a major wide-field imaging telescope. The CCD Mosaic Imager on this telescope affords a 1 degree field of view, a uniquely powerful combination.

The scientific contributions of the 0.9-Meter Telescope are numerous. The telescope has been used to investigate an extensive network of photometric standard stars as well as in stellar photometry of variable stars and of stars in clusters. The 0.9-meter participated in studies of the morphology of a wide variety of extended sources including planetary nebula, H II regions, and galaxies. Also, the facility has contributed to imaging surveys including clusters of galaxies, samples of rare objects such as emission-line galaxies or dwarf C stars, large-scale structure, and the Galactic halo.

  The shutters around the dome are opened at night to allow air to flow freely through the dome. A smooth flow of air improves the image quality, and allows astronomers to see finer details.
The red cylinder at the bottom of the telescope contains the CCD camera for imaging while the blue structure offers support.  
    This 1991 picture of the Whirlpool Nebula (M51, NGC 5194/5195) was taken on the 0.9-meter by combining three CCD frames corresponding approximately to the primary colors red, green and blue. This technique recreates a true color image. The Horsehead Nebula has been similarly imaged.  

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NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The Kitt Peak Virtual Tour is developed and maintained by the NOAO Educational Outreach Office.

Copyright © 1999 The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. All Rights Reserved.