My favorite telescope:

The Coudé Feed at KPNO

"domes are closed due to threatening clouds"

That's what an observing astronomer at the Coudé Feed fears: it's just a litte BEEPS on your screen - oh no, the dome-opening status changed! - Let's have a look (that's always thrilling!): "high humidity", "dripping domes", "high winds" ... oh yeah, they always find something new and exciting. Just look at this one from Jan 21, 1996:
domes are closed due to dust in the air
domes are closed due to threatening clouds
domes are closed due to dangerous conditions
Isn't that amazing! (too much is not enough) - "dangerous conditions" ? ... hmm, maybe the telescope operator faced a mountain lion! (Oh Dan, I know, it was your very last night here on the mountain...)

Well, enough of that, I'm sure you wanna see some nifty pictures:

This is a picture of the McMath telescope, taken from my favorite telescope. Actually, the Coudé Feed is exactly behind me.
KPNO is located in the Sonora desert - as you can see. (Where's the snow comin' from?!)

Here's a picture of the Coudé Tower - calm down, this is not the whole telescope!

Try this link, if you wanna know how to operate the Coudé Feed Telescope.

Here are some pictures I have taken by my own:


You can see the 1.6 m flat mirror on the roof of the coude spectrograph.
On the left side in the background there's the McMath.

The next one was taken about 20 minutes before sunrise from the roof of the coudé spectrograph. In the background to the right of the coudé feed tower you can see Babouquivari Peak, the sacred mountain of the Hopi.

I hope that small telescopes like this won't be ruled out and abolished by the large new generation telescopes! You don't get two continuous weeks of observing time at a 4m or 8m telescope, but this can be crucial for observing active stars with the need of good phase coverage. The Coudé Feed does provide this possibility!

Some more pictures:

updated: 1 June 1996 / 4 April 2010