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Sunspot Solar Observatory Closure a Mystery, Authorities Tightlipped

Sunspot Solar Observatory Closure a Mystery, Authorities Tightlipped
The Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico has been closed for more than a week. (Sandra Foyt/Dreamstime.com)

Friday, 14 September 2018 03:17 PM EDT

The Sunspot Solar Observatory closure is creating a buzz, with few clear answers offered as to why the observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico that is dedicated unlocking the mysteries of the sun is locked up.

The Sunspot Solar Observatory has been closed for more than a week. Authorities remain tightlipped, saying only that a “security issue” was behind vacating and locking up the facility on Sept 6.

The FBI on Friday referred all questions to the group that runs the observatory, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. Officials there say only that they’re working with authorities and the observatory will remain closed until further notice.

"The FBI is refusing to tell us what’s going on," Otero County Sheriff Benny House said, according to the Alamogordo Daily News. "We’ve got people up there (at Sunspot) that requested us to standby while they evacuate it. Nobody would really elaborate on any of the circumstances as to why. The FBI were up there. What their purpose was nobody will say."

He said there was "a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything."

The vagueness has fueled speculation on social media.

The association manages the observatory atop Sacramento Peak with funding from the National Science Foundation.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


TheWire
The Sunspot Solar Observatory closure is creating a buzz, with few clear answers offered as to why the observatory in the mountains of southern New Mexico that is dedicated unlocking the mysteries of the sun is locked up.
sunspot, solar, observatory, closure
220
2018-17-14
Friday, 14 September 2018 03:17 PM
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