Smithsonian Journeys Dispatches

Astronomy in Arizona

The Multiple Mirror Telescope at Smithsonian's Whipple Observatory. Photo: Smithsonian Institution

Here in Washington, DC, we don't get to see many stars due to city lights and a humid climate. But Arizona's clear skies and dry air make it a great place to learn more about astronomy. Some of the most advanced work in astrophysics is happening there right now. Get up close and personal on our next Astronomy in Arizona tour, where you'll stargaze at Kitt Peak National Observatory, home to the world's largest collection of optical telescopes. You'll also visit Smithsonian's Whipple Observatory and explore the 6.5 meter Multiple Mirror Telescope (above), whose supporting offices and computer labs rotate with the telescope all night long.

In the mean time, how about that newly discovered super-Earth? Read more about it from Smithsonian Journeys Study Leader, David Aguilar, who also heads up public affairs at the Smithsonian-Harvard Center for Astrophysics.

Ready to head out west for some incredible star-gazing? Our Astronomy in Arizona program begins April 27, 2011.

What's the coolest thing you've ever seen in the night sky? We'd love to know!