So This Week’s Science Blog is going to be a little different. Why? Because my mom, Kurt, and I went up to the Kitt Peak National Observatory to stare at some badass stars and galaxies this evening.
So I shall tell you about that.
The KPNO is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and has a total of (I think) 21 telescopes, including a badass sun telescope (seriously, HOW COOL?).
Anyway. Here is a picture of the sunset from up there. This is the only picture I took because, obviously, we were up there mainly during the nighttime.
First we saw Jupiter, and when I asked the guy there he said that it still wasn’t clear whether or not the southern equatorial band was reappearing yet. Through the telescope we could see the giant planet plus the Galilean Moons.
Then we got some star charts and went outside to try and find Orion, the Dippers, the Seven Sisters, and a bunch of the astrological constellations. I also found out that no matter how good the binoculars are, I still suck at using them.
We then hung out in one of the telescope rooms and stared at the Andromeda galaxy, some orbiting star pairs, a couple globular galaxies, and then the moon, which was ridiculously detailed in the telescope and pretty much blinded all of us.
If you’re ever in Arizona, get up to Kitt Peak and check out the firmament of awesomeness above us. And if you’re there during the day, for the love of GOD go check out the largest solar telescope on the planet.