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Discovery Channel Telescope – Technical Information

Technical

Overview of the Site

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Autumn flowers bloom atop the DCT site at Happy Jack, 2005

The Discovery Channel Telescope is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona at a site known as Happy Jack. The site was selected following extensive testing and subsequent approval by the United States Forest Service in November 2004 for a Special Use Permit to construct the telescope at this location.

The Happy Jack site is a partially mined cinder cone of 7746 ft (2361m) elevation perched near the edge of the Mogollon Rim. The paved, year-round highway is adjacent to the base of the mountain and an unimproved forest road provides access to the summit. Commercial power and telephone are available within less than one mile from the site. The site is surrounded by the Coconino National Forest with occasional pockets of sparsely populated private land.

Development of the DCT site began in November 2004 with construction of the access road and clearing the site summit. The formal groundbreaking for the DCT took place on July 12, 2005 at Happy Jack with over 150 invited guests attending. Construction of the DCT facility was completed in July 2007.

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Aerial view of DCT site at Happy Jack, AZ - April 2009, photo courtesy of Julie Millis and Padraig Houlahan

We have been documenting construction of this spectacular new facility for posterity, and you can view photos of DCT construction activity at our online photojournal.

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TELESCOPE

Index Logo SPECIFICATIONS

Index Logo OPTICS

Primary Mirror

Secondary Mirror

Active Optics System

Optical Coating System

Index Logo MOUNT

Prime focus configuration images

Ritchey-Chretien configuration images

Index Logo CONTROLS

FIRST LIGHT INSTRUMENTS

Index Logo NIHTS

Index Logo LMI

Index Logo The DeVeny Spectrograph

FACILITY

Index Logo OVERVIEW

Building design & construction

Index Logo DOME

Environment in the dome

SITE

Index Logo OVERVIEW

Site testing

Seeing histogram

Index Logo Environmental Assessment (NEPA)

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