NOIRLab Site Visits

NSF's NOIRLab is the preeminent US national center for ground-based, nighttime optical and infrared astronomy. The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) operates these facilities under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

On this page you will find information about the types of visits we offer, safety rules and recommendations, requirements for visiting, what you can expect, and a form for requesting your visit.

NOIRLab offers media and free public visits to its facilities in Arizona, Hawai'i, and Chile.

Visit Our Sites

The NOIRLab summit facilities are each located in very remote locations with unique environmental and cultural concerns. When selecting the site you are interested in visiting, you will be guided through a list of restrictions that you should carefully consider before submitting your reservation. The facilities have limited capacity, and the visits are organized to avoid disturbing the 24/7 operations of the cutting-edge observatories.

We offer regularly scheduled tours of both our summit and base locations for public visits, which do not include transportation. Reservations must be made through our booking site. Once your request has been received, a automatic acknowledgement email for your request will be sent with the details of your scheduled visit.

Media visit requests must be made at least a month in advance of your requested date. follow the Media visits links for more details.

Pick a type of visit

Photograph of Journalists and film crews

Media visits

Journalists and film crews

Public Visits

Public visits

Schools groups, families, tourists,
and other members of the public

More Information About Our Sites

Choose the site below that you want to visit to see more information about each site.

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Gemini North

Gemini North Base Facility

AURA Recinto

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory

Gemini South and SOAR Telescopes

NOIRLab Headquarters, Tucson, Arizona

How to Get to the Sites

General travel information for each of our sites can be found below.

  1. Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Arizona
  2. Gemini North in Maunakea, Hawai’i
  3. Gemini North Base Facilities, Hilo, Hawai’i
  4. AURA Recinto, La Serena, Chile
  5. Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile
  6. Gemini South and SOAR Telescopes on Cerro Pachón, Chile
  7. NOIRLab Headquarters, Tucson, Arizona