dancing with architecture: Sunspot, New Mexico

One of the side trips we took out of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, was to Sunspot, a small scientific community perched at the literal edge of the Sacramento Mountains overlooking the Tularosa Basin. The focus of Sunspot is, well, sunspots! It's a solar observatory station and is one of the places that provides early warnings of solar storms in addition to basic solar research. It's a rather gorgeous facility in a rather gorgeous setting with almost everything painted in International Style white. The facility above is as much below ground as above with its shape driven by function (nonetheless, I think Corbusier would love it). We showed up at just the right time for me to catch this shot of the sun peeking over the top.

Visitor center.

Another observatory.

Yep: That's a sunspot in Sunspot!

The inside of the tall tower.

There's another observatory on the next hilltop; however, this one focuses on the night sky. 

One of the older buildings.

Original barracks.

One of the original observatories (in a grain silo!) that now houses a night telescope (for the amusement of the scientists).

Driving out to the site from Cloudcroft are roadsigns for the planets to give you a sense of scale for the distances between them.

Kerning: It's important.

1 comment:

  1. What you call the original Barracks, was actually the home of my close friends, The Rankins. Norman Rankin was head instrument maker and machinist at Sunspot in 1963. I have photos if you like. email me at davekellum@msn.com