Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Astronomy Capital of the World"

With clear skies and the absence of lights plus a low light ordinance, Tucson in many ways is the Astronomy capital of the world. In many ways, Arizona has had a long love affair with astronomy that goes back to native cultures and even with ancient peoples like the Anasazi who have left many pictographs with astronomical themes.

Surrounding Tucson, is a plethora of observatories located on different mountain peaks like Mount Lemmon, Mount Bigelow, and Mount Grahm. Probably the most well known is the Kitt observatory located 56 miles southwest of Tucson in the Schuk Toak District on the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Kitt Peak National Observatory, is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, and supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun.

With the low light ordinance in Tucson, the night skies near my home are very clear during the evenings. As a result, shooting stars and even space stations are quite prominent as they move across the sky.

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