Welcome to Mount Graham International Observatory!

MGIO is a division of Steward Observatory, the research arm for the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona.  Scientific researchers from around the world make use of MGIO facilities.  We serve this community, operating and maintaining facilities at the remote observing site located in the Pinaleño Mountains in southeast Arizona.  This area is part of the Coronado National Forest -- administered by the Safford Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service.  Our office, the MGIO Base Camp, is located at the eastern base of Mount Graham, six miles south of Safford, Arizona.

Research telescopes at MGIO are:

Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope

Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope

The Large Binocular Telescope


October 23, 2014 -- Partial Solar Eclipse from Discovery Park

On October 23, 2014 a partial solar eclipse was observed using the Gov Aker Observatory at the Eastern Arizona College Discovery Park Campus.  The Observatory has a DayStar Hydrogen Alpha (Hα) filter which provides very impressive views of the Sun.  This specialized filter system is attached to the 5" refractor of the Gov Aker Observatory.  With a Hα filter fine solar details, such as prominences and filaments, are visible.  During the eclipse the Sun sported a very large sunspot group near the center, adding to the show!  Several of the Desert Skygazers operated the telescope during the eclipse.  A few members of the public dropped by to enjoy the views of the eclipse through this research-class observatory.  Also in attendance were participants of a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) planning meeting that occured at Discovery Park at the same time; they got to see a STEM event as part of their STEM meeting! 

Below are images of the open dome and persons looking through the telescope at the eclipse.  Also below is an image of the eclipse itself.  The eclipse image was taken with a small hand-held camera which was held up to the eyepiece - hardly the ideal way to take an astronomy image.  But, in the image you can see the Moon covering the Sun on the right, the large sunspot group to the left center, and filaments across the surface of the Sun.  The sun appears red-pink as this is the specific Hα color the filter system allows through.  The image seen by observers was much sharper and better than captured in this image.  A great time was had by all!!

Partial Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014.  Observer Looking Through Telescope at Eclipse.


Partial Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014.  Open Dome During Eclipse.


Partial Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014.  Hand-Held Image Through Eyepiece.

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