Misti Mountain Observatory - Astronomy Pages
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Misti Mountain Observatory is located on a remote hilltop (elevation 4,500 feet) in Northwestern Arizona. It is 30 miles East of Kingman, 120 miles West of Flagstaff, and 140 miles Northwest of Phoenix.

The night sky is quite dark, with only a minor sky-glow on the western horizon from the lights of Kingman (30 miles away), and a barely perceptable glow on the southeastern horizon from Phoenix (140 miles away).

With an average annual rainfall of 9 inches, most nights are clear. There are no major industrial or residential areas nearby, and relative humidity is often in the 10% to 20% range, so sky transparency is generally excellent.

The one site disadvantage is that "seeing" conditions are seldom optimal. The observatory has rising terrain to the East and South, and is generally in a mountainous region, so upper air turbulence is usually present. This limits "seeing" to about 2 or 3 arc-seconds on a good night, but it is often much worse than that.

Windy conditions often occur at ground level as well, in sufficient force to cause the telescope to oscillate up to several arc-minutes (in severe wind). This is countered by a 14' high wind-screen (2x4 frame and plywood) surrounding the observatory. This wind-screen limits observations to objects about 30 degrees or higher from the horizon, though some panels can be removed in special circumstances, such as for viewing far southern objects like Omega Centauri.

The telescope is housed in a 10' by 24' wood-frame structure. One half of the structure contains the telescope, and the roof rolls off that half onto the other part of the structure. The walls are 8' high, but those in the observatory side are split at 4', and fold down for observing sessions.