Sunspot Solar Observatory

Staring at the Sun, from Sunspot, New Mexico


The Sunspot Solar Observatory Consortium will operate the Dunn Solar Telescope and Sunspot site, beginning October 2017. Sunspot Solar Observatory Consortium partners obtain 2 to 4 weeks observing at the site each year, at low cost and high return on investment. Interested partners should email

Partners in the Consortium obtain the following

– Allocated annual 2-4 weeks observing with all available instruments; provided accommodation at the telescope on observing runs; assisted by observers at the telescope during an observing run; given access to shared software for reducing and post-processing of the data.
– Provided with a seat on the executive board, which includes determining the solar physics and space weather facets of the synoptic program at the DST; apportioned membership on the time-allocation committee.
– Provided with an unparalleled experience to become intimately familiar with the sort of data that DKIST will provide. In general ground-based data analysis is more intricate than space-based data, and each DKIST instrument has a DST equivalent; set up with a path to get involved in 2nd generation instrumentation for DKIST, including access to develop prototypes and proof of concepts using a solar AO-adapted lightsource and space on optical benches.
– Provided facilities for engineering, workshops, conferences, student summer schools, and general maintenance of the Sunspot site.

From Oct 2017, the Consortium will manage the entire Sunspot Observatory site including

– Water plant, including but not necessarily limited to: water storage tank, in-ground water storage tanks, water treatment facility, water wells, underground water distribution system and required electrical system
– Machine, electrical, welding, painting and Civil Engineer shop buildings, including installed equipment, supplies, and tooling.
– High Bay of Dunn Solar Telescope with associated aluminizing chamber, overhead crane, air compressor, water, and necessary electrical supply.
– Access to redwood houses, to be rented on a personal basis by Consortium staff and visitors as needed
– Electrical distribution system, including standby generator to provide power to water wells.
– Wastewater treatment facility, including collection, distribution and effluent systems.
Community Center building, including access to kitchen and conference / workshop facilities
– Shared access to all available CE equipment, supplies and tooling, including motorized heavy and light equipment, fueling station, and LPG storage and distribution systems, as donated to the SSOC in future agreement with NSF.
– access to Apartment building with existing equipment, appliances and furnishings, to be rented by Consortium staff and visitors as needed.
– Visitor’s Center expansion efforts.

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