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Updated Feb 4, 2013 - 10:24 am

Tucson observatory explores options for telescope

TUCSON, Ariz. — Federal funding for a massive telescope atop Kitt Peak in
southern Arizona is set to end Dec. 31, now efforts are under way to keep it operational.

The National Science Foundation’s division of astronomical sciences announced
last year that it intends to stop supporting the McMath-Pierce solar telescope
and its other telescopes on Kitt Peak.

The Arizona Daily Star reported that McMath-Pierce is
the first Kitt Peak instrument to face a deadline.

The National Solar Observatory in Tucson plans a Thursday workshop on the
telescope’s future.

Astronomer Mark Penn of the observatory said the telescope’s instruments and
lab space might interest people in the optics industry and others.

The observatory’s headquarters will move to Boulder, Colo., in 2016.

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