Sunspot Solar Observatory to reopen Monday morning 9/17/18 after FBI investigation
The visitor’s centre of the Sunspot Solar Observatory, which is located near the Sacramento Mountains, apparently no longer faces a security threat and has reopened. Staff at the observatory confirmed to RT that the grounds and visitor’s centre are open to the public, however they are still awaiting permission from authorities to reopen the observatory.
The solar observatory – equipped with a one-of-a-kind telescope that produces some of the sharpest images of the sun – found itself making global headlines after its abrupt closure by the FBI on September 6.
The lack of details over the observatory’s shock closure sparked a flurry of speculation and conspiracy theories online – and now the internet wants answers: is the government trying to cover up evidence of aliens, imminent solar flares, or even the sun dying?
The FBI has remained tight-lipped, declining to comment or elaborate on the closure and evacuation of the space research facility, as well as a dozen residents living around the site, and a nearby post office.
Otero County Sheriff Benny House detailed to local media just how intense it was having the FBI descend on the observatory. “There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything,” he said, adding that the FBI was “secretive” and there “there was a lot of stuff going on” at the observatory.
In a statement to announce Monday’s reopening, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) said the closure was due to a concern “that a suspect in the investigation [of criminal activity at Sacramento Peak] potentially posed a threat to the safety of local staff and residents. For this reason, AURA temporarily vacated the facility and ceased science activities at this location.”
AURA added that, “given the significant amount of publicity the temporary closure has generated and the consequent expectation of an unusual number of visitors to the site,” additional security services would help patrol the reopened facility. The move comes as curious conspiracy theorists crossed police lines during the closure to take a peek at the hush-hush goings-on taking place at the observatory. read more…
Images of the sun usually show a burning ball of fire, shining bright in the sky. However, NASA has just released a stunning picture which captured the exact opposite – a giant dark area on the sun’s upper half.
The image, snapped by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) from May 17-19, shows what is known as a “coronal hole” on the sun, described by the space agency as a “low-density region of the sun’s atmosphere, known as the cornea.”
Corneal holes are visible in certain types of extreme ultraviolet light, which is invisible to the human eye. NASA has colorized the picture in purple, for easy viewing. read more…
A tsunami of solar particles could wreak havoc on planet earth
If the threats of climate change, a pandemic or nuclear war haven’t given you enough to worry about, how about solar weather?
Large-scale eruptions on the surface of the sun can create solar-particle waves that damage satellites and disrupt power grids — not to mention the GPS in your car.
Space Weather Canada
Canadian Space Weather Forecast Centre at Natural Resources Canada are testing for the potential of a solar flare hitting the earth. (Steve Fischer/CBC)
Scientists at the Canadian Space Weather Forecast Centre are now preparing for the next big event.
At their command centre near the Mer Bleue Conservation Area in Ottawa, scientists are using an array of highly specialized instruments to test for geomagnetic activity.
Heightened levels are an indicator of solar flares and their evil twin, Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs.
CMEs cause extensive damage
CMEs are massive eruptions on the surface of the sun that send a tsunami of particles into the solar system — and can dramatically change the earth’s magnetic field once they arrive here.
Fortunately, a CME in 2012 missed earth but others have hit here with disastrous effects. read more…