|Focal Length||16.48 meters|
The 1.8 meter Alice P. Lennon Telescope and its Thomas J. Bannan Astrophysics Facility, known together as the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT), is a Gregorian telescope observing in the optical and infrared situated on Mount Graham in southeast Arizona, United States. It achieved its first light in 1993. VATT is part of the Mount Graham International Observatory and is operated by the Vatican Observatory, one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world, in partnership with The University of Arizona. The heart of the telescope is an f/1.0 honeycombed construction, borosilicate primary mirror. The VATT's mirror is unusually 'fast' at f/1, which means that its focal distance is equal to its diameter. Because it has such a short focal length, a Gregorian design could be employed which uses a concave secondary mirror at a point beyond the primary focus; this allows unusually sharp focusing across the field of view. The unusual optical design and novel mirror fabrication techniques mean that both the primary and secondary mirrors are among the most exact surfaces ever made for a ground-based telescope. In addition, the skies above Mount Graham are among the most clear, steady, and dark in the continental North America. Seeing of better than one arc-second even without adaptive optics can be achieved on a regular basis.