Kitt Peak Observatory Gets a Facelift

October 6th, 2016 LO/MIT, SOLEC

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Kitt Peak Observatory’s Mayall 18-story tall Observatory (Tucson, AZ) got a fresh coat of paint this summer. The massive 30,000sqft, 500 ton telescope dome structure that houses a 4-meter telescope was coated with LO/MIT-I Radiant Barrier Coating in July/August. LO/MIT has a highly metallic silvery finish, reflective across visible and infrared wavelengths. It has been shown to be a useful telescope coating, covering many of the largest telescopes around the world, controlling interior temperatures, lessening expansion/contraction issues and providing a low-e roof signature for infrared measurements. The Mayall dome had an old, white TiO2 coating that needed to be sandblasted and primed before application, and the new coat looks great as the telescope prepares for the installation of a new instrument in 2017: the DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument), which is designed to make 3-D images of the universe in an effort to better understand the relationship between dark energy and gravity.

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