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Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Contact Info
Amado, AZ 85645

Phone:
520-670-5707
Basics
Location:
In Amado, Arizona north of Nogales.
Type:
Performing Arts

Description

The Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) is the largest field installation of the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory. Since October 1968, the FLWO has been used as the site for experiments requiring extremely dark skies, dry climate, and good "optical seeing."

On Mondays, Wednesday, and Friday, from Mid-March thru November, there are all day public tours (reservation required) of the mountain top observatory. Elevation is 8550 feet so bring warm clothes. Cost $7 per adult, 6-12 $2.50 and because of the length of the tour no one under 6 is allowed.

The FLWO Visitor Center features displays and exhibits on astronomy and astrophysics, natural science, and cultural history. The Visitor Center is located at the base of Mt. Hopkins 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Tucson.

Hours + Fees

Hours:
Visitors Center is open 9 am to 4:30 pm Mon. thru Fri.
Tours are on Mon, Wed, & Fri at 9 am
Season:
Visitor Center: Open year round
Tours: Mid-March thru Nov.

Details

Additional Details:
To get there from the north - Take I-19 south and get off at Exit 56 (Canoa). At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left and drive east to the eastside Frontage Road. Turn right on the Frontage Road and drive 3 miles to Elephant Head Road. Turn left and drive east, crossing the bridge on the Santa Cruz River. One mile past the railroad tracks, turn right on Mount Hopkins Road. Drive southeast about 7 miles to the Administrative offices and Visitors Center.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
From the north - Take I-19 south and get off at Exit 56 (Canoa). At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left and drive east to the eastside Frontage Road. Turn right on the Frontage Road and drive 3 miles to Elephant Head Road. Turn left and drive east, crossing the bridge on the Santa Cruz River. One mile past the railroad tracks, turn right on Mount Hopkins Road. Drive southeast about 7 miles to the Administrative offices and Visitors Center.
Customizable Directions


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