Gallery 1 - Astronomical   >   Observatories   >   US Naval Observatory

Established in 1955 a few miles west of Flagstaff, Arizona, the Flagstaff station is the US Naval Observatory's dark-sky site for optical and near-infrared astronomy. This photo was taken in February of 2005.

This is the 1.55 meter Kaj Strand Astrometric Reflector, the largest optical telescope operated by the U.S. Navy. Over 1000 of the world's most accurate stellar distances and proper motions have been measured with this telescope since 1964. Debra and staff memeber Fred Harris are dwarfed by the instrument.

This telescope, completed in 1934, is the largest and last Ritchey-Chretien telescope designed and built by George W. Ritchey. When built it was yet unproven that this new design would work. Today this telescope is used for a variety of imaging and photometric programs by the Flagstaff Station staff.