UNM has operated its Campus Observatory within the same facilities since the early 1950’s. It has served as a hands-on lab-experience for students while providing research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. The observatory serves as an outreach destination where the public, free of charge, can view the night sky right inside the city. It has been the site of huge observing parties for solar eclipses and planetary transits.
At this time, the facilities are severely outdated and new construction around the observatory is increasing light pollution, blocking sightlines, and significantly limiting the size of public events. We want to make sure our educational, outreach, and research activities using an easily accessible for-all Campus Observatory are preserved, expanded, and able to continue for a long time to come.
To this end, the Department of Physics & Astronomy envisions a new, state-of-the-art Campus Observatory! Our facility will be accessibility equipped, have a lecture room for public talks, and feature a research telescope (to study planets around other stars, and more!) as well as a laboratory and telescope for public viewing. We want this facility to be enjoyed by sky viewers of all ages, abilities, and educational levels.
We need your help for funding the initial planning phase of the project, which will include renderings of the new observatory.