The Sunspot Solar Observatory lies at Sacramento Peak in the Linclon National forest in New Mexico. It is a beautiful region and very scenic, so well worth the drive. Unfortuneately although i was there more than half and hour before the visitor's centre was due to close, the place was deserted, which was very disappointing. :-( Even so, it was nice just to wander around the place and explore.
View from the top of Sacramento Peak in the grounds of Sunspot observatory.
The main telescope at the observatory is the Dunn Solar telescope.
The Dunn Solar telescope tower.
With the visitor's centre closed up, I could not get inside any of the domes to have a look at the instruments. The best I could manage was this photograph of the Dunn Solar telescope through the window in the tower door.
The observatory is home to a number of other telescopes located about 100m from the solar observatory at Apache Point. This one belongs to the New Mexico State University. The dome houses a 3.5m telescope.
One of the most used telescopes at the observatory is the Sloan digital Sky Survey telescope, visible here behind the NMSU 1m telescope. While I was walking around, some people came over to work at the telscope so I was able to get some photos when they opened it up.
The Sloan digital Sky Survey telescope.
Since this visit, a former student has started working at the observatory. So I am looking forward to my next visit!! :-)