TRIPS tour to Kitt Peak

Joyce Shumate
TRIPS program to Kitt Peak’s Night Sky Observing Program will be on Saturday, May 4. A clear night on Kitt Peak is not to be missed or soon forgotten. The nation’s observatory was built here for its dark, frequently clear skies and you will share those views.
This four-hour program is an introduction and sampler for beginning stargazers. This very popular program requires advanced reservations. Brief periods of standing and climbing stairs is required to reach the eyepiece for viewing through the telescope.
Enjoy an evening of astronomical wonder far from city lights under the celebrated dark skies of the desert Southwest. From high atop Kitt Peak, you will experience the night sky while professional astronomers work in the observatories all around you.
The evening begins with a light meal which includes a turkey sandwich, bottled water and a snack, followed by a dramatic sunset viewing. Then the guides will help you use star charts to locate constellations and take a binocular tour of the night sky. Lastly, you will use the research-class telescopes to visually observe a variety of astronomical objects, while also learning their importance.
Wear layers of clothing plus hats and gloves; it may be warm when we leave but it can get very cold as the evening progresses: the sun goes down, the high altitude and the wind. Spending time outside observing the stars, walking from one building to the next, plus the observatories are not heated.
A chartered bus will be departing from Madera Clubhouse parking lot at 3:30 p.m. on May 4 and returning about midnight.
Cost is $70 pp that includes round-trip bus ride, light meal, guided tour and four-hour evening program. Sign up at the concierge desk starting in early April. Watch for the announcement in the What’s Happening. This tour is open to just 50 Quail Creek residents.