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Evans Solar Facility

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Management, Operations, and Associated Projects for the National Solar Observatory  (AURA/National Optical Astronomy Observatories)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The John W. Evans Solar Facility, located on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico, contains two telescopes for increasing our understanding of the sun and its cycles.  The instruments can be used together or independently to conduct daily observations of the solar corona, the faint outermost layer of the sun; to detect and produce images of transient phenomena such as solar flares, eruptions, and surges; and to study the sun's quiet features. The dome roof of the facility rotates to allow the telescopes to view the sun as it moves through the sky.

The Evans Solar Facility is part of the National Solar Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

Education & Outreach

The facilities of the National Solar Observatory offer numerous opportunities for hands-on education and training for all levels of students and teachers, as well as educational materials for classroom use.  The activities include NSF-supported Research Experiences for Teachers, in which K-12 teachers conduct hands-on research at the observatory, alongside professional astronomers and engineers.

For higher education students, the observatory offers the opportunity to study and train with professional mentors--through NSF-sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates, and summer research assistantships for graduate students.

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  • Evans solar telescope