Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope

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Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope
Organization NOAO
Location Arizona, USA
Coordinates 31°57′48″N 111°36′01″W / 31.9634°N 111.6003°W / 31.9634; -111.6003Coordinates: 31°57′48″N 111°36′01″W / 31.9634°N 111.6003°W / 31.9634; -111.6003
Altitude 2120 m
Wavelength optical
Built Completed 1973
Telescope style reflector
Collecting area 11.4m2
Website The Mayall 4-Meter Telescope
Kitt Peak—Mayall is the tall one

The Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope, also known as the Mayall 4m Telescope, is a four meter reflector telescope located at the Kitt Peak National Observatory and named after Nicholas U. Mayall. It saw first light on February 27, 1973.[1] Initial observers included: D. Crawford, Nicholas Mayall, and Arthur Hoag.[1] It was dedicated on June 20, 1973 after Mayall's retirement as director.[1] The mirror has an f/2.7 hyperboloidal shape. It is made from a two foot (61 cm (24 in)) thick fused quartz disk that is supported in an advanced-design mirror cell. The prime focus has a field of view six times larger than that of the Hale reflector. An identical reflector was later built at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, in Chile.[2]

Contemporaries on commissioning[edit]

The Mayall (4 m) debuted neatly between the Hale (5 m) and Shane (3m) in the early 1970s.

Largest telescopes 1973:

# Name /
Image Aperture Altitude First
Special advocate
1 Hale Telescope
Palomar Obs.
P200 Dome Open.jpg 200 inch
508 cm
1713 m
(5620 ft)
1949 George Ellery Hale
2 Mayall Telescope
Kitt Peak National Obs.
Kittpeakteliscope.JPG 158 inch
401 cm
2120 m
(6955 ft)
1973 Nicholas Mayall
3 Shane Telescope
Lick Observatory
Shane dome.JPG 120 inch
305 cm
1283 m
(4209 ft)
1959 Nicholas Mayall
C. Donald Shane
4 Harlan J. Smith Telescope
McDonald Observatory
107-inch at dusk.JPG 107 in
270 cm
2070 m
(6791 ft)
1968 Harlan J. Smith


A man in his 60s looking into the eyepiece of a large telescope.
Mayall on March 2, 1973 viewing through the telescope to be named in his honor.
Looking out at Kitt Peak from Mayall

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Lindsley, Dave; Edmondson, Frank; Kiani, Shiva (2008), Celebrating 50 years; Kitt Peak National Observatory; Milestones at Kitt Peak 
  2. ^ Robert D. Chapman, William M. Sinton. "Telescope". AccessScience@McGraw-Hill. doi:10.1036/1097-8542.681600. 

External links[edit]