UMN Telescopes

MIfA wholly owns two telescopes both constructed and operated by the UMN Infrared Lab.

Additionally, the University of Minnesota has purchased a share at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) at the Mt. Graham International Observatory. With our participation in the LBT consortium, the institute gains access to all University of Arizona/Steward Observatory telescopes.

University of Minnesota Sites

  • Mt. Lemmon Observing Facility (MLOF), a 60" f/15 Cassegrain (Dahl-Kirkham) telescope, infrared optimized, opened in December 1970 and located outside Tucson, AZ. (schedule)
  • O'Brien Observatory (OBO), a 30" f/10 Cassegrain telescope, opened in spring of 1968 and located at Marine-on-St. Croix, MN.

Both telescopes have their advantages in a modern day research setting. The closer O'Brien observatory is used for instrument testing and classroom/graduate student instruction, while Mt. Lemmon is primarily used in support of observations at national facilities (Chandra, Gemini, NASA IRTF, Spitzer) and long-term temporal monitoring of transient objects (typically comets and classical novae).

University of Arizona Sites

  • The Large Binocular Telescope, located on Mt. Graham, AZ, features two 8.4 meter primary mirrors, the largest total collecting area of any infrared telescope in the world. The LBT is equipped with a suite of optical and infrared instruments, providing enormous potential for UMN researchers to explore a range of astronomical topics.
  • MMT 6.5m Telescope, at the Smithsonian Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, maintains a range of imagers and spectrographs in the optical and near-IR bands. UMN observers are encouraged to take advantage of this 6-meter class telescope.
  • The 90" Bok Telescope on Kitt Peak provides both Cassegrain prime-focus imaging and high-resolution spectroscopy in optical and near-IR wavelengths. With additional support and infrastructure from NOAO and NSF, as well as collaborators at University of Arizona and Ohio State University, UMN researchers have access to other observatories and instruments at Kitt Peak.