Back on the sky!

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We are happy to announce that after 88 nights of being shut down, Saturday night June 13th will be the first full night of science observations at the MMT since Monday, March 16. On Wednesday, June 10th Whipple Observatory received approval from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. to resume reduced operations. This was the final approval needed to resume nighttime operations at the MMT. A Telescope Operator and Queue Observer will be on site on Friday night June 12th to test out the Observatory subsystems and instrument on the sky. The instrument that is currently mounted is the Hectospec and Hectochelle fiber positioner. Those instruments will be used until July 8th when there will be a change to Binospec which will stay on until summer shutdown begins on July 28th.

We will continue to monitor the evolution of the pandemic and are prepared to suspend operations if local conditions warrant that.