Arizona wildfire might spare Kitt Peak Nationwide Observatory's telescopes

Positioned within the mountains exterior Tucson, Arizona, the Kitt Peak Nationwide Observatory was threatened final

Positioned within the mountains exterior Tucson, Arizona, the Kitt Peak Nationwide Observatory was threatened final week by the continued Contreras Fireplace. Whereas the blaze has affected greater than 20,000 acres and disrupted work on the facility, the key scientific gear appears to be up to now unscathed.

The scientific group feared the worst, however over the weekend, the Nationwide Science Basis’s Nationwide Optical-Infrared Astronomy Analysis Laboratory (NOIRLab), the group that operates the location, had excellent news to share. “All bodily scientific observatory constructions are nonetheless standing,” NOIRLab mentioned in a spotted by . However, in a , the organization said the fire destroyed four support buildings on June 17th.

The facility’s official Twitter account said NOIRLab staff would have to conduct a thorough assessment of the observatory grounds to determine the extent of the full damage caused by the inferno. “This process will likely take weeks,” the account . “Restoration of services (power, etc) may take even longer.” 

The telescopes aren’t safe just yet. The Contreras Fire continues to blaze in and around the area of the Kitt Peak National Observatory. As of Monday, 350 firefighters were working to contain the fire, according to the .

The potential destruction of Kitt Peak comes a little more than a year after the receiver platform collapsed into its iconic 1,000-foot wide antenna. Puerto Rico has to rebuild the telescope, but the future of the facility is unclear. Kitt Peak may be less famous than Arecibo but it’s no less important. The facility’s Mayall telescope is the seventh-largest optical telescope in the US and was used to discover methane ice on Pluto back when it was considered a planet.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Source: Engadget.

See also  Nationwide Media Ignore Mass Capturing Prevented by Armed Citizen