NSF's NOIRLab is monitoring the development of COVID-19. To help prevent the spread of the virus causing COVID-19, we have closed to the public, and cancelled all upcoming public programs. Please do not drive up the mountain road for any reason. If you are scheduled for programs in the next few months, please check back before traveling to Arizona, or driving up the mountain.

NOAO Unites with Gemini and LSST

Credit: National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory/AURA/NSF/P. Marenfeld

As of 1 October 2019, NOAO has joined with Gemini Observatory and LSST operations to create a new organization, NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NSF OIR Lab). As the preeminent US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, the new organization brings together diverse pathways for astronomical exploration, serves as a focal point for community coordination and collaboration, and enables the discoveries of the future. The integration is part of a long-term evolutionary trend and is reminiscent of the origin of NOAO itself.

Read more in this Currents article and in the NSF OIR Lab press release.

Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), 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 22 optical telescopes and two radio telescopes. (See the Tenant Observatories list.) Kitt Peak is located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, AZ, in the Schuk Toak District on the Tohono O'odham Nation and has a Visitor Center open daily to the public.

If you need to contact someone at NOAO but are uncertain of that person's email address, simply send email to "", i.e., or A general purpose email account has been set up to answer any questions you have about observing at Kitt Peak and don't know who to ask. Any and all questions you have can be e-mailed to this address: and it will be forwarded to the appropriate person.

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