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Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory

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Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter Observatory

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Mt. Lemmon
NE Tucson, AZ


Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter is an exceptional science learning facility located at Steward Observatory's "sky island" observing site just north of Tucson, Arizona. The SkyCenter builds upon the uniqueness of the 9157 feet summit of Mt. Lemmon and on the extensive knowledge base at the University of Arizona to deliver educational adventures including:

SkyNights is a night-time observing program that provides the opportunity to peer beyond the blue horizons of our southwestern skies and explore astronomical wonders that have fascinated us from time immemorial. Star charts, binoculars and the superb 32" Schulman telescope are just some of the resources of this program. This telescope is the LARGEST public dedicated telescope in the Southwest. The SkyNights experience is offered virtually every night throughout the year. Join us as part of a group for the evening hours and enjoy our Universe like you've never done before!

DiscoveryDays explore the scientific, historical, and natural wonders of Mt. Lemmon and the Catalina Mountains by interacting with UA scientists in this hands-on program. Topics include tree-ring science, hummingbird studies, updates on recent astronomical discoveries, ecology, meteorology, and more.

AstronomerNights opens up nearly exclusive, extended access to our 32" telescope like a professional astronomer. This unique experience allows one or two visitors to observe with an astronomer/guide, be lodged on site in our dorm, acquire high quality images of objects of their choice, and have images processed and subsequently made available to them. Groups can be accommodated with adjustments in program and fees. There are no prerequisites on experience or education: just a curiosity about our universe and an interest in exploring it first-hand!

Our Workshops immerse you for several days and nights at our mountaintop facility in the focused study of a topic in the sciences or arts. The in-depth instruction and hands-on activities will hone the skills of even the most accomplished student. Visit our workshop page for the next event in this series.

Basic Directions

Find Catalina Highway on the northeast side of Tucson. Follow the road up 27 miles towards the town of Summerhaven. Just after our "welcome" sign for Summerhaven (but before the town) turn right on to Ski Run Rd. At the top of this road (about 2 miles) drive through the open Forest Service gate at the end of the parking lot. This is the observatory road. (Note: During the winter months this (lower forest service) gate will be closed and you can proceed no further. We will meet you here at the appointed time.) Go up the road (another 2 miles) to the second, closed, Forest Service gate. Park in the lot to the left. We will greet you here and admit you to the main observatory grounds at your scheduled arrival time. Remember, reservations are required to participate in any Mount Lemmon SkyCenter programs.

Allow 90 minutes driving time to get from Tucson proper to the top of Mt. Lemmon. The Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter is at an altitude of 9,157ft. Remember to bring warm clothing regardless of the time of year.

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