So along the way, we passed some dome like Observatory structures in the distance that turned out to be the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Hmm, I guess that is close enough for now!
|On the drive to Phoenix, the dome structures are the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
|Resident Astronomer George and Big Brother Richard and the restaurant's mascot (Source: Palmia Observatory)
|The drive from Phoenix to Safford, AZ has a lot of good rock formations
|Mt. Graham with Large Binocular Telescope just barely visible in the notch
Ok, so after the bumpy ride, going through the washed out sections of the road and passing many sections that were burned out by the recent forest fire, which barely missed the observatories, we finally were able to survey the observatories. Here Resident Astronomer Peggy and I are standing in front of the Vatican Advanced Telescope with the sub millimeter Radio Telescope and the Large Binocular Telescope behind us.
|Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope on Mt. Graham (Source: Wikipedia)
|VAAT (Source: Palmia Observatory)
|Sub millimeter Radio Telescope on Mt. Graham (Source: Wikipedia)
Some of the radio receiving equipment inside the Sub mm radio telescope (Source: Palmia Observatory
The largest telescope on Mt. Graham is the Large Binocular Telescope. The LBT Observatory was all closed up for maintenance on the day that we visited the facility, but this Wikipedia image shows the LBT with door wide open.
|Large Binocular Telescope on Mt. Graham (Source: Wikipedia)
|Inside the receiving hall of the Large Binocular Telescope with red door of mirror aluminizing chamber
|One of two mirrors that make up the Large Binocular Telescope
|Using the Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer to search for exoplanets (Source: D. Defrefe et al, arXiv:1509.01299v1)
The exoplanet survey conducted at Mt. Graham, using the LBT, known as LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) was the result of a 130 night observing run. The exoplanet detection is shown in the following figure, abstracted from the referenced paper.
|One example of the LBTI technique imaging exoplanets around their star (Source: A. Skemer, et al,arXiv:1407.2876v1)
|Picture of the Milky Way in the DSLR Liveview screen with 10mm, 35 seconds (Source: Palmia Observatory)