A

David

Darling

Sacramento Peak Observatory

Sacramento Peak Observatory

Sacramento Peak Observatory is a facility of the National Solar Observatory (NSO), located 2,800 m up in the Lincoln National Forest of the Sacramento Mountains, near Sunspot (65 kilometers southeast of Alamogordo), New Mexico. Its largest instrument is the Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope, a vacuum tower telescope, 108.5 m high – only the top 41.5 m of which rises above ground level – with a 0.76-m entrance window and a 1.6-m main mirror. Other instruments include the John W. Evans Solar Facility, equipped with a 0.4-m coronagraph and a 0.3-m coelostat, and the Hilltop Dome Facility, which operates a number of solar patrol cameras and test cameras. The Observatory was founded in 1949 by the US Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories and became part of the NSO when that body was founded in 1984.