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.
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.
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.