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Kitt Peak National Observatory

Kitt Peak National Observatory, usually referred to as KPNO, is an astronomical observatory on a 6,875 ft peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O'odham Nation, 55 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona. It is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO).

Kitt Peak was selected in 1958 as the site for a national observatory under contract with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was administered by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, the land being leased from the Tohono O'odham under a perpetual agreement. In 1982 the National Optical Astronomy Observatories was formed to consolidate the management of three optical observatories - Kitt Peak National Observatory, the National Solar Observatory facilities at Kitt Peak and Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, and the Cerro Tololo Observatory in Chile.

The principal instruments at the KPNO are the Mayall 4 metre telescope; the WIYN 3.5 metre telescope and further 2.1 m, 1.3 m, 0.9 m, and 0.4 m reflecting telescopes.

The Kitt Peak is also famous for hosting the first telescope (an old 91 cm reflector) used to search for near-Earth asteroids, and calculating the probability of an impact with our planet.

Overview of some of the telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory

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