New Mexico observatory closed for security reasons to reopen

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico that had been closed since early September because of an undisclosed security concern is now scheduled to reopen on Monday.

Officials overseeing the Sunspot Solar Observatory say that there is no longer a security threat to staff. The facility closed on Sept. 6.

The officials with the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and the National Science Foundation say Sunday they have hired a temporary security team to patrol the observatory when it reopens. Located atop Sacramento Peak, the observatory was established in 1947.

Officials said Sunspot’s one-of-a-kind telescope produces some of the sharpest images of the sun available in the world. Data from observations done at Sunspot is sent to New Mexico State University servers and can be used by researchers around the world.

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