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Status of Primary Mirror Re-Aluminization

We will re-aluminize the primary mirror during summer shutdown 2013.  While we had planned to do it this summer, we feel our success will be optimized by waiting another year while we continue with our preparations, meetings, and discussions among staff and with other colleagues.  Due to this, we'll have a normal  shutdown period this summer, beginning on July 24 and resuming operations on August 21.

 

Economic Impact of Astronomy to Arizona

In 2007, the Arizona Arts, Science and Technology Academy (AASTA) analyzed the economic importance of astronomy, space sciences and planetary sciences research to Arizona.  The study was published in January 2008.  To read more, click here



Exciting Binary Discovered with the MMT

Warren Brown, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts made the exciting discovery, while observing at the MMT, of two white dwarfs circling each other every 12 minutes.  Follow the link for many more details.

Work resumes on July 25 on Mt Hopkins Road

Installation of additional guardrails will resume on Monday, July 25 by SMR on Mt. Hopkins Road around the 5 km area.  Work will be done during weekdays.

Mt. Hopkins Road will be OPEN during the following times:
Before 6:30 a.m.
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. (Only 15 minutes - be waiting near the 5 km area to drive through)
12:00 noon - 12:30 p.m.
After 4:00 p.m. until the next morning at 6:30 a.m.

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.

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.