Bok Telescope

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Bok Telescope
Organisation Steward Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s) Kitt Peak Edit this on Wikidata, United States of America Edit this on Wikidata
Coordinates 31°57′46″N 111°36′00″W / 31.9629°N 111.6°W / 31.9629; -111.6Coordinates: 31°57′46″N 111°36′00″W / 31.9629°N 111.6°W / 31.9629; -111.6
Altitude 6,900 ft (6,900 ft)
First light 23 June 1969 Edit this on Wikidata
Telescope style optical telescope, infrared telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter 2.3 m (7 ft 7 in)

The Bok Telescope (also known as the 90-inch) is the largest telescope operated solely by Steward Observatory. It finds much use from astronomers from University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University, with instruments capable of both imaging and spectroscopy.[1] The telescope operates year-round, except during the August summer-shutdown when maintenance is performed while the weather is poor (Arizona's monsoon season lasts from roughly July through August).


The telescope

The Bok Telescope was named after the prolific astronomer and director of Steward Observatory from 1966–1969, Bart Bok, one of the most beloved astronomers in Tucson. It was used on March 18, 2007 by Bruno Sicardy to view Pluto's occultation of a star in Sagittarius.[2] The building itself features a very long spiral staircase leading to the telescope and a balcony called "The Bok Walk".


Panorama of the control room.

There are currently 3 instruments that are mainly used at the 90-inch, two that work in the optical and one in the near-IR. The 90prime instrument, whose principal investigator is Edward Olszewski, is a prime focus, wide-field imager capable of imaging 1 square degree on the sky, while the B&C Spectrograph does spectroscopy. The Steward 256x256 NIR Camera, which has been available at the telescope since 1991,[3] uses a NICMOS array which was built during the development of the NICMOS instrument on the HST.

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