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Landslide washes out road to NM observatory

A landslide has washed out the road to an observatory in southwestern New Mexico, forcing some employees to leave the facility.
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Magdalena Ridge Observatory To Receive $4 Million For Expansion

The Magdalena Ridge Observatory, an arm of New Mexico Tech, is getting $4 million to continue the expansion of the nine telescope interferometer.
The existing facility is currently being used to support the Department of Defence in applications including sensor development and testing, space weather monitoring and the rapid tracking of Low-Earth Orbit objects and debris.

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New Mexico Tech has won a small but exclusive contract with NASA to monitor a controlled lunar impact later this year.
Magdalena Ridge Observatory is one of 11 telescopes that will observe, interpret and analyse a mission to look for water on the moon. New Mexico Tech's contract with NASA is for $30,000 for four or five months.

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Historical events that led to the Magdalena Ridge Observatory

Eric Bakker, Van Romero, David Westpfahl, Gary Loos, and Michelle Creech-Eakman

The observatory's two facilities, a fast-tracking telescope and an optical interferometer, are the result of a strong science agenda supported by three enabling opportunities.

The Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) consists of a fast-tracking 2.4m telescope  and a long-baseline optical interferometer. Interferometry is a technique in which the light from two or more telescopes is coherently combined to form fringes that are later made into images. Animations that demonstrate the MRO interferometer (MROI) and optical interferometry are available online. The method yields spatial resolutions dependent on the separation of the telescopes rather than their diameters.

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In an important milestone, New Mexico Tech's largest, world-class telescope is in full operation, and running on funds from the university and research awards rather than federal construction money.
The Magdalena Ridge Observatory's 2.4-meter telescope officially moved from the construction phase to the operational phase Sept. 1, said Observatory Program Director Charles Cormier.

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Now witness the power of this fully operational station


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