The Large Binocular Telescope Observatory (LBTO) is located in southeastern Arizona near Safford in the Pinaleno Mountains on Emerald Peak at an altitude of 3200m. This area is part of the Coronado National Forest. LBTO is headquartered on the Tucson campus of the University of Arizona.

The binocular design of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) has two identical 8.4m telescopes mounted side-by-side on a common altitude-azimuth mounting for a combined collecting area of a single 11.8m telescope. The entire telescope and enclosure are very compact by virtue of the fast focal ratio (F/1.14) of the primary mirrors.

The two primary mirrors are separated by 14.4m center-to-center and provide an interferometric baseline of 22.8m edge-to-edge. The binocular design, combined with integrated adaptive optics utilizing adaptive Gregorian secondary mirrors to compensate for atmospheric phase errors, provides a large effective aperture, high angular resolution, low thermal background, and exceptional sensitivity for the detection of faint objects.