Top Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter

September 30, 2014

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If you’re looking for something unique and want to escape the typical land adventures, turn to the Mt. Lemon Sky Center and discover several astronomy programs. Their programs include public observing, a multitude of workshops, and remote observing, all of which are offered several times throughout the year.

 

Just a half hour west of Tanque Verde Ranch is Mt. Lemmon. More than 9,000 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest mountaintops in the continental United States. The thirty-mile trip up the mountain winds through several ecosystems beginning in the desert and ending in Pine Forest. At its peak lies the Mt. Lemon Sky Center, a premiere site for astronomical research.

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Mt. Lemmon’s SkyNights Star Gazing Program is offered nightly and is one of the most popular programs offered. Experience the heavens of the Arizona sky and learn about constellations, observe atmospheric phenomena, and view the wonders of the cosmos from Arizona’s largest public viewing telescope – a high quality 32-inch Schulman Telescope. A five-hour excursion, you will enjoy a shuttle ride up the mountain taking in the beauty of the dessert and experiencing the various ecosystems on your way. After you reach the peak, the presenter will introduce the facilities, the mountain, and elements of the program. A light meal is given and shortly before sunset, the guests will be escorted to a picturesque mountain overlook to observe the sunset. Once deep twilight has fallen, a brief sky orientation and stargazing will unfold.

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Another unique program is where you can experience the life as an astronomer through Mt. Lemmon’s Astronomer Nights. As a visitor for this extended observing program, YOU become the astronomer investigating the cosmos and deciding how the night unfolds. Typically the program is limited to 1 or 2 people. You will observe through a telescope with an astronomer’s guide, acquire high quality data, and sleep on-site in the astronomer dormitories. Your stay might offer a significant contribution to the field. Also offered at the SkyCenter are various workshops where you are able to learn about the wonders that happen in the sky.

They also have several workshops available to the public such as the Making Every Pixel Count Workshhop. Learn how to produce stunning images of deep sky objects from Adam Block, a renowned imager whose skill with a CCD camera continues to inspire enthusiasts around the world. His images have appeared in numerous books, magazines, websites and television programs.

This hidden exploratory center is suitable for all ages, and a perfect evening adventure for the whole family. The high quality of Mt. Lemmon’s SkyCenter programs will impress and please both novices and experienced amateur astronomers. Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter offers access to the universe. Capture these exciting endeavors on your next trip to the ranch. For more information, please click here.

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