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Southwest Astronomy Adventure: Mars, Mirrors and More Itinerary

 
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FRIENDS OF THE OBSERVATORY

Southwest Astronomy Adventure: Mars, Mirrors and More   

4-day tour April 14 – 17, 2011


OVERVIEW


Mirror Lab - University of Arizona campus

The Steward Observatory Mirror Lab tour is a unique behind-the-scenes look at the cutting-edge technology and revolutionary processes involved in making the next generation of giant telescope mirrors; from constructing the mold, to casting, to polishing, to delivering the finished product on a mountain top, to viewing the universe.

 

 

Mt. Lemmon - Steward Sky Center

Located at a 9157-foot elevation, visiting the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center (a Steward Observatory facility) is a celestial adventure! Here you will experience the grandeur of the night sky from the new 32-inch Schulman telescope. Stargazing is subject to weather conditions.  Adam Block, Program Coordinator and renowned imager, will lead this program. 

 

 

HiRISE  Imagining Lab - University of Arizona

See a dramatic riveting one-hour program about the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) is flying onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) capturing pictures unlike any ever seen before. This ultra hi-tech lab is where images from Mars are stored.

 

 

Biosphere 2 

This one-of-a-kind facility sits on a ridge at an elevation of nearly 4000 feet and is surrounded by a magnificent natural desert preserve. Inside you will see real-time research on the future of our planet as it unfolds in the specially designed mini-world. 

 

 

 

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place! Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants.

 

 

 

KITT Peak  (6800-foot elevation) VIP tour including lunch

KITT Peak National Observatory supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun.

 

 

 

 

ITINERARY


Day 1  Thursday April 14, 2011 

  • Travel: Depart LAX 11:15 a.m. - Arrive Tucson 12:35 p.m.

             (FLIGHT IS SUGGESTED, NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR PACKAGE PRICE)

  • 12 NOON Check-in available. Hotel: Lodge on the Desert
  •  Box lunch will be available at check-in
  • 2:30 p.m.  - Meet in Hotel Lobby to leave for Mirror Lab Tour
  • 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.  - Mirror Lab Tour
  • 6:00 p.m. -  Cocktail Reception with featured speaker - Lodge on the Desert
  • 7:30 p.m. - Dinner:  Lodge on the Desert Private Dining Room

 

 DAY 2  Friday April 15, 2011

  • 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. -  Continental Breakfast, Catalina Room
  • 9:30 a.m. - Meet in Lobby ready to leave for University
  • 10:00 a.m. -  HiRISE Imaging Lab tour ( 1- hour) U of A campus
  • 12 noon  - Lunch: Tohono Chul Park Tea Room
  • 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. -  Biosphere2 - private tour w/featured speaker
  • 7:30 p.m. - Dinner: The Guadalajara Grill
  • Return to Hotel after dinner

 

 DAY 3  Saturday April 16, 2011

  • 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  -  Continental Breakfast, Catalina Room
  • 9:00 a.m.  - Meet in Lobby to leave for Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
  • 9:40 a.m. – Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, (Nocturnal underground garden, hummingbird garden lots of geology)
  • 12:30 p.m. -  Lunch at Desert Museum restaurant
  • 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. - Travel to Mt Lemmon
  • 4:30 p.m. -10:30 p.m.  - Steward Sky Center presentation and viewing through 32” telescope. Includes Special Speaker and Dinner 

 

DAY 4  Sunday April 17, 2011

  • 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  - Continental Breakfast, Catalina Room
  • 9:30 a.m. - Meet in Lobby to leave for KITT Peak
  • 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. -  KITT Peak VIP Tour includes lunch, Tour guide and speaker
  • 3:00 p.m.  - drive to Airport for
  • Travel:  5:20 p.m. -  Flight to LAX arrives 6:40 p.m.

             (FLIGHT IS SUGGESTED, NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR PACKAGE PRICE)

 

If you are driving to and from Los Angeles the bus will return you to the Hotel.

If you have any special dietary restrictions or any mobility needs, please email Ann Hassett with your requests when you make your reservation. Ahassett@mac.com

 

 

 

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON TOUR LOCATIONS

 

Lodge on the Desert Hotel
www.lodgeonthedesert.com

 

All breakfasts will be at the hotel as well as one lunch and one dinner.

Thursday Lunch and DinnerLodge on the Desert

Friday Lunch: Tohono Chul Park Tea Room

http://www.tohonochulpark.org/wordpress/

Friday Dinner:  The Guadalajara Grill   http://www.ggrill.com/ 

Saturday Lunch: Desert Museum restaurant

Saturday Dinner:  SkyCenter

Sunday Lunch: KITT Peak Observatory

Transportation:  A luxury 50-passenger bus will be provided to and from the airport and to all locations.

 

 

Reservations must be made by March 4, 2011

Final payment due:  March 11, 2011

Cost: $1,100.00 PP Double $1350.00 Single

  • Includes 4 -star historic hotel, all meals (B/L/D), and entrance fees to observatories, parks and museums
  • All gratuities and local taxes
  • All transportation in Arizona

 

Transportation to Tucson, Arizona is NOT included

Sample flight: United Air Lines $222.00

Leave LAX 11:15 a.m. - Arrive Tucson  12:35 p.m.

Leave Tucson 5:20 p.m. – Arrive LAX 6:40 p.m



Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory  

http://mirrorlab.as.arizona.edu/SOMLBrochure.pdf


Located under the University of Arizona football stadium, scientists here are creating the world’s biggest telescope mirrors.  We will go behind-the-scenes (under the stadium!) to learn about the revolutionary processes used to produce the next generation of gigantic reflective surfaces – up to 27.6 feet wide. We will meet and talk with the physicists responsible for focusing the light of far-away galaxies into the eyes of the world’s leading astronomers.  The tour will provide us a behind-the-scenes look at the cutting-edge technology, we will see the spin-casting processes that are involved in making these giant telescope mirrors, from construction of the mold, to spin casting, grinding and polishing.



 

University of Arizona Science SkyCenter     

http://skycenter.arizona.edu/

Steward Observatory: Mt Lemmon Research Facility

 

Experience a sky island wonder! With Adam Block, Sky Center Program Coordinator and world renown Astro-photographer

2:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (including driving time)


This tour includes dinner at the Sky Center, solar telescope and 32-inch Schulman telescope experience.

From Tucson you travel up to a 9157-elevation driving through time and habitats, you will see the wonders of the geology, ecology and astronomy that are all a part of this unique sky island. 

 

The road will end at the summit of Mt. Lemmon, Tucson’s highest destination; this is where your celestial adventure begins! Here you will experience the grandeur of the night sky from the Sky Center’s new 32-inch Schulman telescope. This telescope is now the largest dedicated public observing telescope in Arizona and offers you captivating access to the Universe.

 

Early SkyNights Viewing:  The program starts in the afternoon before the Sun sets. In addition to viewing beautiful sunsets from the summit of Mt. Lemmon, you can also see many astronomical objects before darkness falls. A dedicated solar telescope offers breathtaking views of solar prominences, sunspots and even flares! You will see planet and the active Sun in addition to all of the other celestial wonders using the new Schulman Telescope - the largest dedicated public telescope in Arizona atop Tucson's tallest destination! Stargazing is subject to weather conditions.

 

Adam Block, Program Coordinator of the Mt. Lemmon Sky Center and world-renown astro-photographer will be our guide on these out-of-this-world experiences where we will see awe-inspiring images of the cosmos.  This is a tour like no other.

 

KITT Peak - VIP tour including lunch

http://www.noao.edu/kpno/ 

(1 hr 20 min drive; 6800-foot elevation)

 

KITT Peak National Observatory supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories on Earth for nighttime optical and infrared astronomy and daytime study of the Sun. Sharing the mountaintop site with the National Solar Observatory, KPNO, founded in 1958, operates three major nighttime telescopes and hosts the facilities of consortia which operate 19 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes. KITT Peak is located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, AZ.

 

The special Daytime VIP tour takes 4 to 5 hours and will cover the entire summit of the Mountain. We will start with the World’s largest solar telescope and work our way across a half-mile of telescopes and facilities, culminating in a visit to the enormous, 18-story-tall Mayall 4-meter telescope. This tour covers parts of the Mountain and special telescope facilities that the general public almost never gets to see. Tour will include lunch.

 

 

 



HiRISE Imaging Science Center
 

http://hirise.lpl.arizona.edu/

 

Launched in August 2005, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) is flying onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. HiRISE will investigate deposits and landforms resulting from geologic and climatic processes and assist in the evaluation of candidate landing sites.

 

The People’s Camera

The science community and the broader public as a whole are encouraged to participate in HiRISE targeting and data analysis.

 

HiRISE is a part of the Planetary Sciences Department on the U of A campus where images from Mars are stored.

 

Biosphere (50 miles from Tucson)

http://www.b2science.org/

 

This one-of-a-kind facility sits on a ridge at a cool elevation of nearly 4000 feet and is surrounded by a magnificent natural desert preserve. Time Life Books recently named Biosphere 2 one of the 50 must-see "Wonders of the World". Visitors from around the globe journey here for this unique adventure not found anywhere else. Here you can see real-time research on the future of our planet as it unfolds in the specially designed mini-world. Starting at the visitor center you will get a first look at a brand-new new exhibit "Phoenix Mars Lander" which landed on Mars in the summer of 2008.

 

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 

http://www.desertmuseum.org/ 

 

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, natural history museum and botanical garden, all in one place! Exhibits re-create the natural landscape of the Sonoran Desert Region so realistically you find yourself eye-to-eye with mountain lions, prairie dogs, Gila monsters, and more. Within the Museum grounds, you will see more than 300 animal species and 1,200 kinds of plants. There are almost 2 miles of paths traversing 21 acres of beautiful desert.

Highlights will include the Hummingbird Aviary where you can walk freely among thousands of beautiful and rare hummingbirds, and unique in the world, The Nocturnal Underground exhibit. When ground temperatures soar, desert animals take cover in the cooler reaches of the underground.  Kit Foxes, Kangaroo Rats, Packrats, Ringtails, Tarantula and many varieties of snakes are just some of the animals that you will see living this nocturnal lifestyle in the underground world of the Sonoran Desert!

 

 

Southwest Astronomy Adventure: Mars, Mirrors and More
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