UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope 

Photograph of UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope


Spacewatch is the name of a group at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory founded by Tom Gehrels and Robert S. McMillan in 1980. Today, Spacewatch is led by Dr. Melissa Brucker. The original goal of Spacewatch was to explore the various populations of small objects in the Solar System, and study the statistics of asteroids and comets in order to investigate the dynamical evolution of the Solar System. Studies included the Main-Belt, Centaur, Trojan, Comet, Trans-Neptunian, and Earth-approaching asteroid populations. Spacewatch also found potential targets for interplanetary spacecraft missions. Since 1998, Spacewatch has focused primarily on follow-up astrometry of such targets, and especially monitors the positions and motions of objects that might present a hazard to the Earth.

For scientists: More details can be found on the science telescope page.

Spacewatch 1.8-meter Telescope

Name(s) UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope 
Status Operational
Broad Science Goals
  • Recovering faint Solar System objects, especially Near Earth Asteroids which have been found to pose an impact hazard, such as the Virtual Impactors (VIs) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). 
  • Other objects of interest include future Radar targets, possible targets of human exploration and objects discovered by the WISE and NEOWISE surveys which have valuable infrared estimates of their size.
Site Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, USA
Location Coordinates

31.96169 deg N

-111.59995 deg E

Altitude 2080 meters (6824 feet)
Optical Design f/2.7 folded prime focus
Field of View 20’x20’
Diameter: Primary M1 1.8 meters
Material: Primary M1  
Diameter: Secondary M2  
Material: Secondary M2  
Mount Altitude-azimuth
First Light Date 2001
Adaptive Optics  
Images taken with the UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope  Link
Images of the UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope  Link
Videos of the UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope  Link
Press Releases with the UArizona 1.8-meter Spacewatch Telescope  Link

Please help us to complete this page by emailing information and corrections to