NMSUAstronomy

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Observatories


The NMSU Astronomy Department operates the Apache Point Observatory for the Astrophysical Research Corporation (ARC), a collaborative partnership that includes NMSU, University of Washington, University of Chicago, the Institute of Advanced Study, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Apache Point Observatory is located in the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico, about a two hour drive from NMSU.

APO is currently home to four astronomical telescopes.

NMSU also owns a 24-inch reflector on Tortugas Mountain (known locally as "A" mountain), located just a few miles east of campus. This telescope has been used extensively in the past 25 years for planetary observations, including monitoring of Jupiter's storms and HST-support observations of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter. Although it is rarely used at present, it provides opportunities for observatory training and public outreach efforts.

NMSU Astronomy is also home to a NASA Planetary Node, which archives planetary atmospheres data from a wide range of different observatories (including many space missions, such as Pathfinder, Galileo, and Viking). The node funds and provides a range of opportunities for archival research, for both staff and students at NMSU.

Members of the department also make use of other observational facilities, including national facilities and private facilities through collaborative research efforts. Certain special opportunities are available due to our close proximity to nearby observatories, such as the Very Large Array in Socorro NM (several of our students have received predoctoral fellowships and completed theses there), the National Solar Observatory with branches in Sunspot NM and Tucson AZ, and the Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson AZ. NMSU is also a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, which oversees the management of several major observational facilities.

APO 3.5 m SDSS 2.5 m NMSU 1.0 m Tortugas Mnt.