Arizona Radio Observatory

*** Note: due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SMT and 12M are currently restricted to remote observing only ***

Jan 20, 2020: The ARO 2021A Call for Proposals for Mar-Jun 2021 has been released.

Jan 15, 2021: The 12m on Kitt Peak has resumed nightly observations of pandemic-postponed 2020A science projects.

Oct 15, 2020: The Submillimeter Telescope on Mt. Graham has started observations for semester 2020B, having completed its regular summer shutdown.   


The Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO) currently operates two radio telescopes in southern Arizona: the new 12m Telescope (12m), which is an ALMA prototype antenna located 50 miles southwest of Tucson on Kitt Peak, and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) located on Mt. Graham in south eastern Arizona.

Combined,the two telescopes routinely cover the entire millimeter and submillimeter windows from about 4.6 mm to about 0.6 mm, and at the SMT observations can be made all the way to 0.3 mm with PI instruments.

The telescopes are operated around-the-clock for about 9 to 10 months per year for a combined 10,000 hours per observing season (about 1500 hours are dedicated to sub-mm wavelengths at the SMT).

The ARO offices are centrally located in the Steward Observatory building on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona.


ARO receives the bulk of operations funding from the State of Arizona and additional support comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for instrumentation development. Current NSF support includes Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) funding for Development of a State-of-the-Art Multiband Receiver for Arizona Radio Observatory's New ALMA Antenna (PI Ziurys; AST-1531366), Mid-Scale Innovations Program (MSIP) funding for The Event Horizon Telescope Experiment (PI Marrone; SV5-85009/AST- 1440254), a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program grant for Mapping the Fuel for Star Formation Across Cosmic History (PI Marrone; AST-1653228), an Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation grant for Measuring Reionization and the Growth of Molecular Gas with TIME (PI Marrone; S455656/AST-1910598), and a Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) award for Black Hole Astrophysics in the Era of Distributed Resources and Expertise (PI Psaltis; OISE-1743747).