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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 29, 2005 3:58:54 GMT -6
Every year, the University of Arizona astronomy camps host teenagers, adults, and educators from around the world. Taking place on Mount Lemmon, a mountain with numerous astronomical instruments near Tucson, Arizona, the camps allow the participants to become “guest astronomers” from being housed in the professional astronomers’ dormitories to learning how to use the various computer programs.
The campers even get to do their own research using telescopes and instruments that would turn most professionals green with envy: a 12” equipped with a CCD camera, a 40” with a photometer, a 60” with an imager, and even a 61” with a spectrometer on nearby Mount Bigelow.
In the middle of camp, there was a break from the usual schedule for an overnight trip to Mount Graham International Observatory, which houses the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), the Sub-Millimeter Telescope (SMT), and the Vatican Observatory (jokingly referred to as the “pope scope”). This caused great excitement among the campers for good reason: the LBT will become the largest telescope in the world upon completion with its twin 8.4m mirrors, the first of which saw first light in 2004. Not only did the campers sleep in the telescope building, they got to see the building open up at sunset! To top it off, the campers had the opportunity to use the SMT telescope, observing various objects throughout the night in radio wavelengths not available on Mount Lemmon.