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Binospec Instrument Update

The Binospec telescope simulator has arrived at the summit and will be assembled during the early part of the week of October 16. Plans are for the simulator and a "clean" tent to be installed in the Instrument Repair Facility (IRF) at the summit by the end of the week. Commissioning of the Binospec instrument is planned for mid-November and continuing in mid-December.

Mt. Hopkins Road Travel

Expect a busy Mt. Hopkins Road for the week of October 16! Various vehicles and staff are traveling up and down the road with the arrival and assembly of Binospec equipment. Be sure to drive carefully and use radios to announce your location on the road.

Revised - MMTO Observing Schedule

The revised observing schedule for October can be found here.

White Dwarf Mergers

Read about new developments regarding merging white dwarfs that were first discovered from observations taken at the MMTO.

Mt. Hopkins Road Work

Grading of the road will continue on October 10, 11, and 12 between 9:00am and 3:00pm each day. Please coordinate via radios when driving on the road those days.

Summer Tour Update

Summer tours are currently on hold due to road work scheduled for the Mt. Hopkins Road. We appreciate your patience while the needed maintenance is taking place. Current plans are to resume the tours in September. Updates will be posted here so check back!

Summer Shutdown Schedule

Summer shutdown began on Tuesday, July 25. The observatory will reopen on Tuesday, August 22.


Small Fire on Mt. Wrightson - Officially Out

The Forest Service declared the small lightning-caused fire on Mt. Wrightson officially over as of 11:00pm on July 4. It began in the afternoon on July 2 on the west side of Mt. Wrightson. On July 3, the Forest Service conducted 3 successful water drops by helicopter. The burn area appeared to remain relatively small.

Binospec Instrument

MMTO staff have been preparing for the arrival this fall of the Binospec instrument, a wide-field multi-object optical imaging-spectrograph. A place in the common building basement is also being prepared for the slit mask cutter. More information on the instrument can be found here.

Parking Lot Work at the MMT

Improvements to the summit parking lot began mid-March to create a pathway allowing easier movement of instruments between the Instrument Repair Facility (IRF) and main MMT building. The pathway is completed, but remains covered to ensure best results for the final condition of the concrete.