University Lowbrow Astronomers

The History of Other University of Michigan Observatories

by Dave Snyder
Revised: November 2004

The University of Michigan, Dartmouth College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology founded the MDM Observatory which is part of the Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. Since that time Ohio State University and Columbia University joined this effort. Kitt Peak consists of several different telescopes, including the McGraw-Hill Observatory, which contains a 1.3 meter reflector that was originally located in the Portage Lake Observatory and subsequently moved to Kitt Peak.

The Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory is located about 500 km north of Santiago, Chile. It began when the 36” telescope was moved from the Portage Lake Observatory to Chile. The University of Michigan is allocated one-third of the observing time with the remaining two thirds going to other institutions.

In 1996, the Magellan Project is formed. This is a consortium of research institutions that built and operate two telescopes at Las Campanas, Chile (known as Magellan 1 and Magellan 2). The consortium consists of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arizona and the University of Michigan. Both telescopes have a 6.5 meter primary mirror. (Magellan 1 is also known as the Baade telescope, Magellan 2 is also known as the Clay telescope).

For More Information


A List of Planetariums in the Ann Arbor Area.


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