It’s the People Who Inspire Me

I’m a docent at Kitt Peak Visitor Center, and I give tours of telescopes to visitors from all over the world.  I’m not an astronomer, but that’s okay because I’ve asked most of the questions you’re too shy to ask, and I know why you’re asking them. I’ve learned a

Continue reading

A Tour of the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope

Standing 100’ high on the south-east ridge of Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) is the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope.  Construction started in 1959, and once completed in 1962, it was the largest solar telescope in the world, a title it held until January 2020 when the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope

Continue reading

A Favorite Moment in the Nightly Observing Program

As a guide in our Nightly Observing Program at the Kitt Peak Visitor Center, I find enjoyment in many aspects of our programs.  The programs do, after all, involve astronomy, which is both my hobby and my livelihood.  Our guests have new experiences at the observatory and learn much about

Continue reading

Getting Started in Astrophotography

Would you like to get started in astrophotography?  If so, you’ll be pleased to know that it is easier and less expensive than you might think.  Here are two types of astrophotography that require only common photographic equipment that you may already own.  Try them both to see how easy

Continue reading

Open Star Clusters

A fellow stargazer once mentioned in a meeting of our local astronomy club that she avoided observing open star clusters because they were just, well – stars. But that is exactly why I enjoy them and why, as a nighttime guide at the Kitt Peak Visitor Center, I like showing

Continue reading
View the Milky Way

Can You View the Milky Way?

It came as a shock to me when I learned that 80% of Americans can no longer view the Milky Way from their own backyard due to light pollution. I grew up in a modest sized Midwest town back in the 1960’s, and spent most of my life in rural

Continue reading

Science of the Sunset

When you join us for an evening observing program on Kitt Peak, we have you run a tad early. We’re not allowed to have folks shinning automobile headlights in the direction of the telescopes, as the Visitor Center has crucially important responsibilities to protect and maintain the scientific integrity of

Continue reading

I Didn’t Always Like the Moon

I used to find the Moon just plain irritating. You might think that’s a little odd once you learn that I’m a public observing guide at Kitt Peak National Observatory. It was odd, but fortunately, I’ve come around. I now heartily appreciate the Moon. If you’d like to know how

Continue reading