Through trial and error my friend Dean Ketelsen has worked out a perfect place and the correct dates to observe the Sun setting behind the telescopes of Kitt Peak National Observatory. The site is along the Mt. Lemmon Highway above Tucson, over 50 miles away from the observatories. The correct alignment occurs just a few days before and after the solstice. It has become a bit of a holiday tradition for the members of the local astronomy club to join Dean at the correct spot in an attempt to get just the right photo. This year the weather treated them well…

I have looked for a similar alignment on Mauna Kea. Unfortunately the telescopes are not highly visible from sites east and west of the summit where the Sun will rise or set behind. The full Moon might be possible, but much tougher to predict.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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