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Mt Hopkins Road re-opened

The Forest Service re-opened Mt Hopkins Road on July 12 for public use to km 13.  Fire restrictions are still in place: no smoking, charcoal grills, firearms, etc.  Work on guardrail installation near km 5 is planned to resume soon with the previous road closure times instituted again.  A notice will be posted when the dates are confirmed for this work to continue.

Fire Procedure Update

Per the Nogales District Forest Service Fire Chief, Shane Lyman, effective immediately, if a fire breaks out on or near Mt. Hopkins, observers and staff should evacuate immediately from the mountain.  If a fire occurs on the road between the summit and the Administration Complex, observers and staff should go to the MMT at the summit.  The 2011 Mt. Hopkins Fire Action Plan and the MMTO Fire Procedures can be found here

Forest Service update on Mt. Hopkins Rd.

Starting on Thursday morning, June 9, the guardrail work on Mt. Hopkins Road will be suspended until further notice and the road will be open normal hours only to staff and Observatory users.  Due to the extremely dry conditions and the potential for fires, the Forest Service is closing Coronado National Forest to the public. 

The FLWO Visitor Center will also be closed to the public until further notice.

Light Pollution

To read a New York Times article on light pollution in Southern Arizona and the effect on the MMT Observatory and other Whipple observatories, click here.

MMT in the news

To read an article from Sky and Telescope magazine about the MMT and other southern Arizona observatories, click here.

VIP Visit

On the evening of March 9th the MMT was visited by the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G. Wayne Clough, the Under Secretary for Science, Eva Pell, and the General Counsel, Judith E. Leonard. Their trip was arranged and hosted by Charles Alcock, the Director of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Amanda Preston, Advancement Officer for CfA.

September - December 2010 Trimonthly Summary Report

The MMT Trimonthly Summary Report for September - December 2010 can be found here.

It can also be viewed, along with other MMT publications, by clicking on the tab, "About the MMT", and looking under "Publications".

Re-aluminization of MMT's Primary Mirror

With much consideration of all factors involved; including but not exclusively, science impact, cost, resources, it has been decided by the MMTO’s Director with input from the MMT Council members that the MMT’s primary mirror will be re-aluminized during the summer of 2012. We will continue to operate with the current coating until summer shutdown 2012 at which time the MMTO will again have an extended shutdown period and a new aluminum coating will be applied to the primary mirror.

Principal Engineer Position

The MMTO is looking for a new Principal Engineer to join us. Details and online application can be found here

MMT participates in ground-based observations for Kepler mission

The most recent exciting Kepler discovery announced is a system of six planets made of a mix of rock and gases orbiting a single sun-like star known as Kepler 11. The MMT was used by the team, among other ground based telescopes, to confirm the discovery. To read the full report, click here.