Kitt Peak Nightly Observing Program

Online Reservation Form

Welcome to the reservation system for the Kitt Peak Nightly Observing Program.

We want to make sure that your time on Kitt Peak is a truly memorable experience. There is important information found that can make or break your experience on Kitt Peak. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE READ EVERYTHING! If you have questions, please call the Visitor Center at 520-318-8720.

High atop Kitt Peak sits the largest collection of optical research telescopes anywhere in the world. Each evening, we offer a public program like no other. At our Visitor Center and its three observatories, the public is invited to learn about and gain hands-on experience with what the latest astronomy has to offer. We’ll view everything from planets to distant galaxies using our 20- and 16-inch Ritchey-Chrétien telescopes from RC Optical Systems and our 16-inch Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. This program is offered to a small group of participants EVERY NIGHT of the week (although we are closed from July 15 to September 1 for our monsoon season). Now it’s your chance to experience Kitt Peak!

While people have always requested a night under the stars on Kitt Peak, it wasn’t until the fall of 1996 that this became possible when the public programs were established. Then, in October 2002, expansion to a second dome allowed additional guests to take advantage of the program without increasing the number of participants in each observatory! In early 2006, we were fortunate enough to get our third observatory. Since fall of 2006 we have been scheduling guests in our new roll-off-roof observatory or ROR.

NEW Advanced NOP

 You asked for it now you got it! For those who want a more in depth viewing experience. This program is held monthly around the new moon. It is not recommended for beginners. The Advanced NOP covers topics more in depth and concentrates more on telescope viewing. There is no weather option with this program. The calendar page will show which nights are NOP programs and which nights are ANOP programs.

If you’ve only just found out about the Nightly Observing Program, please consider joining the nearly 7000 people each year who experience the thrill of an evening on Kitt Peak. Discovery and excitement await!

Over 50 years of Providing Public Outreach to the Public


Normally we shut the NOP down July 15th - Aug 31 but for this year we are running a limited test program to see if we can run some summer stargazing events. Our summer rains are sometimes unpredictable. We are offering NOP’s on Friday-Sunday nights running July 15 – Aug 31.

Due to the popularity of this program, it is recommended that you make reservations 3 to 4 weeks prior to your visit.

NOP Programs are held regardless of cloudy or clear weather. In the event of cloudy weather a series of unique indoor presentations and hands- on activities and behind the scene telescope tours, will stimulate your curiosity and interest. Refunds or discounts due to inclement weather are not available. Cancellations must be made no later than 24 hours prior to check-in time for your program. Advanced NOP programs require cancellation 48 hours prior to the program. Deposits will be charged for no shows if the 24/48 hour cancellation is not met. In the event of dangerous weather and if we cancel the program, no deposit will be charged. There is NO weather program for the Advance NOP; in the event of bad weather the program will change to a regular NOP type program and your rate will be adjusted.

This program is an introductory star-gazing program. Those looking for a more in-depth overnight experience can reserve a night on the Advanced Observing Program.

Group Rates are available for 10 or more people; please call the Visitor Center at 520-318-8726.

If you wish to register on-line, first enter the two spam prevention words (if you cannot read the words, just click the rotating arrows on the reCapcha box to get a new challenge), then please click one of the buttons below to proceed to create a new contact and a new reservation, or to create a new reservation using an existing contact or to update an existing reservation using a reservation number. If this is your first time attending the NOP Program, please click "Create New Contact and New Reservation". To update or cancel a reservation, you must call the Visitor Center at 520-318-8720.

If you have any questions about the NOP, Please call the Visitor Center at 520-318-8726.