OBSERVATORY LOCATIONS

General Information:  Data compiled from personal visits to some observatories.  Other information obtained from state maps, astronomy magazines, and other visitors.  Directions given are as accurate as possible but inquiries should be made before attempting any trip.  As most observatories are usually in areas that can be considered anywhere from somewhat remote to severely remote, adequate planning and caution should be exercised when making these trips.  Automobiles should be checked before leaving to prevent possible breakdowns and delays.  Restrictions and warnings are given to aid the traveler whenever possible. (telephone numbers effective 1988) (last update 7-6-90)

NOTE:  If you have any corrections or additions please e-mail me with the information.  ralvarez@frii.com
 

ARIZONA

Name: Kitt Peak National Observatory

Address: Box 26732, Tucson, AZ 85726-6732
         (602) 620-5350

Nearest Major City:  Tucson, AZ

Directions:  From Tucson west on state highway 86 approx. 34 miles to state highway 386.  South on state highway 386 to observatory.

Features:  4 meter (Mayall), several other optical telescopes.  The McMath solar telescope.  36 foot - millimeter wave radio telescope.

Tours:  Self guided.  Access limited to outside and to visitor areas to view telescopes.

Restrictions/Cautions: Moderate mountain drive to peak.  Should not be attempt with large recreational vehicles.

Other Information:  On Papago Indian reservation.  Operated as a leased land from the Papago.  Follow common courtesy.
 

ARIZONA

Multiple Mirror Telescope Observatory
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
(602) 621-1558

Steward Observatory
University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721
(602) 621-6524
 

ARIZONA

Name: Barrington Meteor Crater

Address: Meteor Crater Enterprises, 121 E. Birch, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.  (602) 774-8350

Nearest Major City: Flagstaff, AZ

Directions: 40 mi. east of Flagstaff

Information:  Fee charged to view crater.
 

ARIZONA

Name: Lowell Observatory

Address:  1400 W. Mars Hill Rd., Flagstaff, AZ 86001, (602) 774-3358

Nearest Major City: Flagstaff

Exhibits, Historical Telescope/Instruments
Tue- Sat
 

ARIZONA

Name: US Naval Observatory

Address: Flagstaff Station, PO Box 1149, Flagstaff, AZ 86002
(602) 779-5132

61" reflector, 40" reflector
 

ARIZONA

Mount Graham AZ
S.E. AZ  - telescope under construction (possible)
no other data at this time
 

ARIZONA

Name:  Tonto Forest Seismological Observatory

Address: None.  Inactive site.

Nearest Major City: Phoenix, AZ  

Directions:  From Phoenix (Scottsdale) take state highway 87 north approximately 87 miles to Payson.  At Payson take state highway 260 east.  Turn at Gila County Maintenance Yard road.  Follow 4 wheel drive trail to site area.
 

Features:   Old site of  Soviet / China underground nuclear testing monitoring.  No longer active / there.  All instrumentation has been removed.  In abandoned condition.
 

Restrictions/Cautions: Check with Ranger station in Payson before entering and for directions.  Located on NFS land.  Must have 4WD vehicle or hike in two miles.

Visited June 1990
 

CALIFORNIA

Name:  Owens Valley Radio Observatory

Address = 100 Leighton Lane, Big Pine, California, 93513 Phone = 760-938-2075

Nearest Major City: Bishop, CA

Directions: From US395 1/2 Mile north of Big Pine take highway 168 East for 2 miles to Leighton Lane. Turn Left and proceed 4.25 miles straight to the Caltech Gate. Follow Road past telescopes to Building #8.
 

Features:  Interferometer. Solar Array Interferometer which includes (2) 90 Foot Telescopes, the Millimeter Array of (6) 10 Meter Telescopes, The 130 Foot single dish telescope, The SZA array of (8) 3 Meter Telescopes. The 26 Meter NRAO VBLI Telescope. This is a fully self contained facility with all instrumentation development and construction occurring on-site.

Other Info: Largest University Owned Radio Observatory in the world. The Hat Creek Radio Observatory will be moving to Owens Valley in 2005. Observatory is expanding to a new high level site in the White Mountains while maintaining the current facilities on the Owens Valley Floor.
 

Tours are given first Monday of each month or by appointment. Contact Dr. Mark Hodges @ 760-938-2075 x109

 

CALIFORNIA

Name:  Lick Observatory

Address: Mount Hamilton  95140
         (408) 274-5062

Nearest City:

Directions:

Features:  visitor gallery  mon-sun.  Rest of observatory closed.

Tours:

Restrictions/Cautions:

Other Information:
 

CALIFORNIA

Name: Deep Space Network  JPL  (Goldstone)

Address: (Business) Community Relations, Goldstone DSCC, P.O. Box 997, Barstow, CA 92311  (Site) Majovie Desert

64 meter, 34 meter radio telescopes

Tours: Tues. 10 AM/ 1 PM (Old info)
 

CALIFORNIA

Name:  Mount Wilson    (Now closed) (site of 100" telescope)
                     Also site of 150' Solar Telescope

Others in area:  Stony Ridge (amateur) Big Bear. PO Box 874,    92314

San Gabriel Mts.    Table Mountain Observatory (JPL)  PO Box 367, Wrightwood, CA   2397  (619) 249-3551

located near or on Angeles Crest Highway.   This info gleaned from a letter in Sky and Telescope.  further data needed.

24" refractor.

Mount Wilson is open for viewing telescope, but otherwise no other information.  Telescope is poorly lighted.  Visited 5/21/90
 

CALIFORNIA

Big Bear Solar Observatory - Big Bear Lake
 

CALIFORNIA

Name:  Palomar Observatory (Palomar Mt.)

Address: CA Inst. Tech.,San Diego, CA 92060
Approx. 40 NE of San Diego

Nearest Major City: Escondido, CA.

Directions: From I-15 and CA 76 go east 20 miles to S-6.  S-6  5 miles to observatory.  Elevation 5,589 feet.

Information:  Telescope poorly lighted.  Impossible to photograph.  Viewing area poor.

Visited 5/21/90
 

CALIFORNIA

Name: Hat Creek Valley Radio Observatory

Address: Univ. of CA Berkley, Cassell CA 96016, (916) 335-2364
(northern CA)

Directions: From Redding CA, CA 299 East 56 mi to CA 89.  CA 89 13 mi S. to Hat Creek.
69 mi northeast of Redding CA
 
 

COLORADO

Name: World Data Center

Address: Boulder, CO
 

COLORADO

Name: NBS

Address: Boulder, CO
 

CONNECTICUT

Name: Talcott Mountain Science Center

Address: Monteviedo Road, Avon CT. 06001

Nearest City: Hartford CT.

Directions:

Features:  20 foot radio telescope, 12.5 inch Cassigrain.  Science center for student involvement.

Tours: ?

Restrictions/Cautions: ?

Other Information:
 

MICHIGAN

Name:  Portage Lake Observatory  (U of Michigan)  

Address:  

Nearest Major City:  

Directions:  

Features:  52 inch optical telescope,  55 foot radio telescope.

 

Tours:  

Restrictions/Cautions:

Other Information:
 

NEW MEXICO

Name: National Solar Observatory  (Sacramento Peak Observatory)

Address: Sunspot, NM   (population 120)
         (505) 434-1390

Nearest Major City:  Alamogordo
 

Directions:  From Alamogordo north on US 54  three miles to US 82.  East on US 82 sixteen miles to Cloud Croft. South on local road (road 6563) toward Sunspot.  Observatory is approximately ten miles from Cloud Croft.
 

Features:  Solar tower telescope 135',  10 other telescopes for solar studies. Magnetographs.
 

Tours:  Saturdays at 2 PM.  Self guided tours anytime observatory is open.  Includes entry to vacuum solar telescope lab.
Visited June 1990

Restrictions/Cautions: About 9,200 feet elevation.  Good road to site.
 

Other Information: Work was done here on "solar movie" during IGY

Data Source/Date:  S&T 73
 

NEW MEXICO

Name: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

Address:

Nearest Major City:

Directions:

Features:

Tours:

Restrictions/Cautions:

Other Information:
 

NEW MEXICO

Name:  Tortugas Mountains Station

Address:  New Mexico State University

Nearest Major City:  Las Cruces

Directions: East of NMSU campus (a few miles)

Features: 24" Boller & Chivens reflector, 16", 12".
            Planetary studies conducted.
Tours:

Restrictions/Cautions:

Other Information: 4,938' elevation

Data Source/Date: S&T 73
 

NEW MEXICO

Name: Corralitos

Address: Northwestern University

Nearest Major City:  Las Cruces

Directions: 20 Miles west of Las Cruces

Features: 16" reflector, 6" Schmitt, 12" Cassegrain,
          24" Cassegrain
          Research done on early applications of CCTV to astronomy.

Tours:

Restrictions/Cautions:

Other Information:

Data Source/Date: S&T 73
 

NEW MEXICO

Name: Blue Mesa
Address: New Mexico State University

Nearest Major City: Las Cruces

Directions: 30 miles NW of Las Cruces

Features:  24" Astro Mechanics - 3 pier English Mount Cassegrain

Tours:

Restrictions/Cautions:

Other Information: 6,623' elevation. Beautiful desert view from observatory.  May have 85' radio telescope.

Data Source/Date: S&T 73
 

NEW MEXICO

Name: Capilla Peak (University of New Mexico) small observatory

Address: U of NM Observatory, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy,
        800 Yale NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131
        (505) 277-2616

Nearest Major City:  Albuquerque

Directions: 60 miles SE of Albuquerque (Manzano Mountains)

Features:

Restrictions/Cautions:  Gravel road to site sometimes impassable in bad weather.  No water available at site.  9,390 feet elevation.

Other Information:
 

NEW MEXICO

Name: Langmuir Laboratory - (South Baldly)

Address: New Mexico Tech, Socorro, NM

Nearest Major City:  Socorro

Directions:  16 miles SW of Socorro. (Southern end of Magdalena Mountains)  Highway 60, 16 miles to Water Canyon Road near mile marker 124 (forest road 235), then 10 miles to summit.

Features: N.M. Tech's Irving Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research. -  Center for Thunderstorm Research. -   N.M. Tech Supernova Search telescope. -  NASA / N.M. Tech  Joint Observatory for Cometary Research. - Megabit link to Socorro.

Restrictions/Cautions:  Improved dirt road, 10,500' elevation. Road passable with passenger auto if caution is used.  Also attention to brake usage on the way down.  Avoid brake fade.

Other Information: Dr. Sterling Colgate (NOVA Death of a Star) Supernova physicist. Site used only during summer months.  Ok to visit when center closed, but check with operations center at NM Tech. Visited June 1990
 

NEW MEXICO

Name:  VLA  (Very Large Array)   (NRAO)

Address: Operations center located at NM Tech.
         P.O. Box O, Socorro, NM 87801-0387
         (505) 772-4011

Nearest Major City: Socorro, NM

Directions:  From Socorro take US 60 west approximately 48.2 miles from I-25.  Turn left at NM 52, follow 2.6 miles then right at NM 166 for 1.7 miles to entrance to observatory.
 

Features: Site of the three arm VLA radio telescope.  Twenty seven 82 foot dishes arranged in a Y configuration.
 

Tours: Self guided only.  Access to one of the telescopes.  Limited to external areas only.  Large telescope assembly and maintenance building.  Small visitor center with short movie on the VLA.
 

Restrictions/Cautions: Dry desert environment.  Exercise caution during summer months due to heat, lightning storms and flash flooding.

Other Information: Exhibits, Film.  mon - sun.

Visited June 1990
 

OHIO

OSU Radio Observatory
Delaware, OH
 

TEXAS

Name:  McDonald Observatory

Address:  Superintendent, McDonald Observatory, Box 1337, Ft. Davis, TX 79734   (915) 426-3263

Nearest Major City: Fort Stockton, TX

Directions:  From Fort Stockton take I-10 west approximately 50 miles to junction of state highway 17.  South on state highway 17 approximately 31 miles to state highway 118.  West on state highway 118 approximately 14 miles to spur road 78.  Take spur road 78 to observatory.

Features:  24" Telescope open to the public Tue, Fri, Sat.
Also 107" telescope - viewing on one wed per month.  Registration required.  82", 36"

Tours: yes

Restrictions/Cautions: ?

Other Information: ?
 

WEST VIRGINIA

Name: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Address: P.O. Box  2, Greenbank, WV  24944
         (304) 456-2241

Nearest Major City:

Directions:

Features: Tatel 85 foot interferometer, 140 foot radio telescope, several other radio telescopes.  (location of the now destroyed 300 foot radio telescope).   Historical - Reber dish, Janskey antenna.

Tours: Yes.  Guided tour bus several times daily.  Free access to grounds for visitors.  Must use bicycles or go on foot.  No motor traffic beyond visitor center.

Restrictions/Cautions: Some moderate mountain driving if approaching from the east.  Large recreational vehicles should exercise caution.

Other Information: Site of annual meeting of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers in mid June.

Visited June 1986, 1987, 1989
 

WYOMING

Name:  Medicine Wheel  (Ancient Observatory - 80' Diameter)

Address:

Nearest Major City:

Directions:  Atop Medicine Mountain @ 9,640' elevation. Big Horn National Forest.  (NW Wyoming)

Features:  Historic / Religious site for Native Americans.

Restrictions/Cautions: Long walk from visitor parking to site. Subject to snow on trail as late as June.

Other Information: Very beautiful site - excellent location!

Visited June 2000
 
 
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