Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

More than 30,000 photos of scientists and their work

Kitt Peak National Observatory H20

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Kitt Peak National Observatory H20

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Image title: 
World's largest solar telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory
Credit line: 
National Optical Astronomy Observatory / Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, courtesy of AIP Emilio Segrè Visual Archives

Looking like a chaste inverted checkmark on the mountaintop at Kitt Peak, Ariz., the world's largest solar telescope has a design almost as dramatic as the work that is being done there. Only a third of the telescope's 500-foot long shaft is above ground. The heliostat, or mobile mirror at the top of the shaft, follows the sun all day, reflecting sunlight down the shaft to two other mirrors before the image is projected in the observation room where by means of spectrographs astronomers can study the sun's composition. Mounts for all three mirrors were built by Westinghouse at Sunnyvale, Calif. The solar telescope is part of the National Science Foundation-financed Kitt Peak Observatory.

Photo date: 
August 29, 1963
Original format: 
1 photographic print (black and white; 10 x 8 inches)
Kitt Peak National Observatory