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Large Aperture Outreach Telescope (LAOT)


Large telescopes are generally reserved for observatories, far from city light and usually hidden away for research purposes. A select few are thankfully opened to the public, especially here in Arizona, providing views of the night sky rarely seen by public eyes. 

Here at Focus our goal has also been to bring the telescopes to you. However, we have always had a goal to bring something truly unique to our events. In 2017 we started the Large Aperture Outreach Telescope project. The goal was to make one of the largest mobile telescopes dedicated to outreach in the area. Through donations, crowd funding and hard work the LAOT is now a reality; seeing first light in March of 2022. 

At the heart of the telescope is a 28" (0.7-meter) primary mirror. This massive mirror allows the telescope to produce images over 12x brighter than an average 8" telescope. Views of distant galaxies, clusters and nebula are defined and and the moon and planets appear like a picture in a book. There is no substitute aperture when it comes to the night sky. 

Currently, the LAOT is the largest mobile telescope for public viewing in the Phoenix area and one of two 28" telescopes in Arizona. Anything larger than this and you would need to visit the local observatories in Tucson or Flagstaff. 

LAOT Event Requirements:

The LAOT is available for public, private and corporate events in the Phoenix area. Due to its size the telescope does have some basic requirements for use. These are things to be considered before having us out with it. 

  • 20 foot operating circle 

  • 6' ladder for viewing (provided with the telescope)

  • Clear path to set up site, paths must be over 3' wide

  • No stairs or elevators to observing location

If you have any questions about our events or viewing with the LAOT please email us at

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