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|Alternative names||The Mount Hopkins Observatory|
|Named after||Fred Lawrence Whipple|
|Observatory code||G91, 696|
|Location||Mount Hopkins, Amado, Mount Hopkins, US|
|Coordinates||31°40′52″N110°52′41″W / 31.6811°N 110.878°W Coordinates: 31°40′52″N110°52′41″W / 31.6811°N 110.878°W|
|Altitude||2,606 m (8,550 ft)|
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The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory is an American astronomical observatory owned and operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO); it is their largest field installation outside of their main site in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is located near Amado, Arizona on the summit, a ridge and at the foot of Mount Hopkins.
Research activities include imaging and spectroscopy of extragalactic, stellar, solar system and extra-solar bodies, as well as gamma-ray and cosmic-ray astronomy.
In 1966, roadwork began on the current site with funding granted for the Smithsonian Mt. Hopkins Observatory. The Whipple 10-meter gamma-ray telescope was constructed in 1968.
Formerly known as The Mount Hopkins Observatory, the observatory was renamed in late 1981 in honor of Fred Lawrence Whipple, noted planetary expert, space science pioneer, and director emeritus of SAO, under whose leadership the Arizona facility was established.
Whipple observatory hosts the MMT Observatory, which is jointly run by SAO and the University of Arizona and houses a 6.5-meter telescope. The observatory also has 1.5- and 1.2-meter reflectors and a second 1.3-meter reflector named PAIRITEL (Peters Automated IR Imaging Telescope, ex-2MASS ). Also on site is the HATNet (Hungarian-made Automated Telescope) network, the MEarth Project, and four 0.7-meter telescopes of the automated Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA).
The observatory is known for its pioneering work in ground-based gamma-ray astronomy through the development of the Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Technique (IACT) with the Whipple 10-meter Telescope during the early 1980s. The Whipple 10-meter is currently preparing to be decommissioned after forty years of service.
In April 2007, VERITAS (a system of 4 IACT telescopes with 12-meter reflectors) started full operations at the FLWO basecamp. Subsequently, in September 2009, after a 4-month effort, one of the telescopes was moved to a new position, making the array symmetric and increasing its sensitivity.
The Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) is a United States astronomical observatory located on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono Oʼodham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona. With more than twenty optical and two radio telescopes, it is one of the largest gatherings of astronomical instruments in the Earth's northern hemisphere.
The Mount Wilson Observatory (MWO) is an astronomical observatory in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The MWO is located on Mount Wilson, a 1,740-meter (5,710-foot) peak in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, northeast of Los Angeles.
Steward Observatory is the research arm of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona (UArizona). Its offices are located on the UArizona campus in Tucson, Arizona (US). Established in 1916, the first telescope and building were formally dedicated on April 23, 1923. It now operates, or is a partner in telescopes at five mountain-top locations in Arizona, one in New Mexico, one in Hawaii, and one in Chile. It has provided instruments for three different space telescopes and numerous terrestrial ones. Steward also has one of the few facilities in the world that can cast and figure the very large primary mirrors used in telescopes built in the early 21st century.
The Harvard College Observatory (HCO) is an institution managing a complex of buildings and multiple instruments used for astronomical research by the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, and was founded in 1839. With the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, it forms part of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian.
The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is an astronomical observatory located on Cerro Tololo in the Coquimbo Region of northern Chile, with additional facilities located on Cerro Pachón about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) to the southeast. It is approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) east of La Serena, where support facilities are located. The site was identified by a team of scientists from Chile and the United States in 1959, and it was selected in 1962. Construction began in 1963 and regular astronomical observations commenced in 1965. Construction of large buildings on Cerro Tololo ended with the completion of the Víctor Blanco Telescope in 1974, but smaller facilities have been built since then. Cerro Pachón is still under development, with two large telescopes inaugurated since 2000, and one in the early stages of construction
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a research institute of the Smithsonian Institution, concentrating on astrophysical studies including galactic and extragalactic astronomy, cosmology, solar, earth and planetary sciences, theory and instrumentation, using observations at wavelengths from the highest energy gamma rays to the radio, along with gravitational waves. Established in Washington, D.C., in 1890, the SAO moved its headquarters in 1955 to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where its research is a collaboration with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Harvard University Department of Astronomy. In 1973, the Smithsonian and Harvard formalized the collaboration as the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) under a single Director.
The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA), alternatively called the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is an astrophysics research institute jointly operated by the Harvard College Observatory and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the CfA leads a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, Earth and space sciences, as well as science education. The CfA either leads or participates in the development and operations of more than fifteen ground- and space-based astronomical research observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum, including the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory, one of NASA's Great Observatories.
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the municipality of Garafía on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. The observatory site is operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, based on nearby Tenerife. ORM is part of the European Northern Observatory.
The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) is a high-altitude astronomy station located in Hanle, India and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Situated in the Western Himalayas at an elevation of 4,500 meters (14,764 ft), the IAO is one of the world's highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes. It is currently the tenth highest optical telescope in the world. It is India's first dark-sky preserve.
The MMT Observatory (MMTO) is an astronomical observatory on the site of Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory. The Whipple observatory complex is located on Mount Hopkins, Arizona, US in the Santa Rita Mountains. The observatory is operated by the University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution, and has a visitor center in nearby Amado, Arizona. The MMTO is the home of the MMT, which has a primary mirror 6.5 m in diameter. The name comes from the six smaller mirrors originally used before the single primary mirror was installed in 1998. The primary mirror has a special lightweight honeycomb design made by the University of Arizona's Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory. The MMT is housed in a building which allows the walls and roof around the telescope to be completely rolled back, allowing it to cool down very quickly in order to improve observation.
IACT stands for Imaging AtmosphericCherenkov Telescope or Technique. It is a device or method to detect very-high-energy gamma ray photons in the photon energy range of 50 GeV to 50 TeV.
Xinglong Station is an observatory situated south of the main peak of the Yan Mountains in Xinglong County, Chengde, Hebei province, China. Installed are seven telescopes: a Mark-III photoelectric astrolabe; a 60 cm reflector; an 85 cm reflector; a 60/90 cm Schmidt telescope; a 1.26-meter infrared telescope; and a 2.16-meter telescope. The most recent telescope is the 4m LAMOST. As of 2014 the observatory installed a 5.2-meter telescope as part of their Gamma-ray astronomy program, known colloquially as Sām Tām for its aggressive focal length. It is a popular tourist site.
VERITAS is a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory with an array of four 12 meter optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV – TeV photon energy range. VERITAS uses the Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope technique to observe gamma rays that cause particle showers in Earth's atmosphere that are known as extensive air showers. The VERITAS array is located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, in southern Arizona, United States. The VERITAS reflector design is similar to the earlier Whipple 10-meter gamma-ray telescope, located at the same site, but is larger in size and has a longer focal length for better control of optical aberrations. VERITAS consists of an array of imaging telescopes deployed to view atmospheric Cherenkov showers from multiple locations to give the highest sensitivity in the 100 GeV – 10 TeV band. This very high energy observatory, completed in 2007, effectively complements the Large Area Telescope (LAT) of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope due to its larger collection area as well as coverage in a higher energy band.
The Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT), formerly the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), is a 4.3 m (170 in) aperture telescope owned and operated by Lowell Observatory. The LDT was built at a dark sky site in the Coconino National Forest near Happy Jack, Arizona. Happy Jack is located at an elevation of 2,360 m (7,740 ft) and is approximately 65 km (40 mi) south-south-east of Flagstaff. The project was initially a partnership between Discovery Communications and Lowell Observatory. The research partnerships have been extended to include Boston University, The University of Maryland, The University of Toledo, and Northern Arizona University. The telescope cost $53 million. It significantly augments Lowell Observatory's observational capability and enables pioneering studies in a number of important research areas.
Mount Burnett Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Mount Burnett, Victoria, Australia.
Catalina Station (CS), also known as Steward Observatory Catalina Station, is an astronomical observing facility located on Mount Bigelow in the Santa Catalina Mountains approximately 29 kilometers (18 mi) northeast of Tucson, Arizona. The site in the Coronado National Forest is used with special permission from the United States Forest Service by the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona.
Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope (MACE) is an Imaging Atmospheric Cerenkov telescope (IACT) located near Hanle, Ladakh, India. It is the highest and second largest Cerenkov telescope in the world. It was built by Electronics Corporation of India, Hyderabad, for the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and was assembled at the campus of Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle. It was originally scheduled to become operational by 2016, but plans were pushed back to begin operations in 2020. It will be remotely operated and will run on solar power.
Giovanni Fazio is an American physicist at Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. He is an astrophysicist who has initiated and participated in multiple observation programs.