Monday, April 11, 2011

Kitt Peak with the In-Laws (Part II)

Well it's been awhile. I caught some sort of flu/cold a week back and it laid me up pretty good. I'm still trying to get over the legacy cough. I was able to fire up the bonnie for the first time, in a long time, yesterday. My father and I took a trip to the second annual Tucson vintage bike show. But that's my next post. For now lets finish up my trip to Kitt Peak. To the waaay back machine!!

(Warning, not to many bike pictures. so turn away if normal pictures make you squeamish.)

This is a  type of sun dial they had in the court yard.  You'll notice the bar that runs across the top with a small metal ball.  The shadow of the ball marks the time.

Another variation of the sun dial.  There's a glass sphere on top and when the sun shines through it creates a focus point of light on the measured glass below.

This is the McMath-Pierce solar telescope.  It's a pretty iconic structure up on Kitt Peak.  It extends 300 feet down into the mountain and has a pretty cool history.  Check it out here.

Up close, the paint is pealing a bit. But keep in mind the exterior copper skin kept cool with circulated antifreeze and water to help the inner telescopes.  So I'm sure paint is a tricky process.

What's amazing is that you can just walk into the structure.  They have a little viewing area where you can see the mirrors inside with the light focused down into the ground.  The mirrors are on tracks and can be lifted or lowered according to need.

My in-laws with my nephew (in-law).

I don't even know how many different telescopes are up here.  Any way you turn you see another telescope off in the distance.

This is one of the telescopes we were able to go into.  There was a tour guide inside with a small group of people.  We got to hear a few tidbits of information and snap a few pics before we moved on.

 The 4 meter telescope was closed to the public the day we were there.  I believe this mirror is in the ~3 meter range.

The nephew was showing off his rock climbing skills.
After taking a break inside the visitor center it was time to head back down the mountain.  Quite a few bikers had shown up during our hike.

Overall it was a great trip.  I'll certainly be going again.  If for nothing else just to ride that nice road up the mountain.

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