Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope

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Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope
Alternative namesMayall 4-meter Telescope Edit this at Wikidata
Part ofKitt Peak National Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Location(s)Kitt Peak, Arizona, US
Coordinates31°57′48″N 111°36′00″W / 31.9634°N 111.6°W / 31.9634; -111.6Coordinates: 31°57′48″N 111°36′00″W / 31.9634°N 111.6°W / 31.9634; -111.6 Edit this at Wikidata
OrganizationNational Optical Astronomy Observatory Edit this on Wikidata
Altitude2,120 m (6,960 ft) Edit this at Wikidata
Built1968 Edit this on Wikidata–1970 Edit this on Wikidata (1968 Edit this on Wikidata–1970 Edit this on Wikidata) Edit this at Wikidata
Telescope styleReflecting telescope Edit this on Wikidata
Diameter4 m (13 ft 1 in) Edit this at Wikidata
Collecting area11.4 m2 (123 sq ft) Edit this at Wikidata Edit this at Wikidata
Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope is located in the United States
Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope
Location of Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope
Kitt Peak—Mayall is the tall one

The Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope, also known as the Mayall 4-meter Telescope, is a four-meter reflector telescope located at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and named after Nicholas U. Mayall. It saw first light on February 27, 1973, and was the second-largest telescope in the world at that time.[1] Initial observers included: David 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] It is host to the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument.

Contemporaries on commissioning[edit]

The Mayall (4 m) debuted neatly between the Hale (5 m) and Shane (3 m) 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 (PDF)
  2. ^ Robert D. Chapman; William M. Sinton. "Telescope". AccessScience@McGraw-Hill. doi:10.1036/1097-8542.681600.

External links[edit]