The National Solar Observatory (NSO), according to their Wikipedia entry:
The mission of the National Solar Observatory is to advance knowledge of the Sun, both as an astronomical object and as the dominant external influence on Earth, by providing forefront observational opportunities to the research community. The mission includes the operation of cutting edge facilities, the continued development of advanced instrumentation both in-house and through partnerships, conducting solar research, and educational and public outreach. The National Solar Observatory operates facilities at two locations. One at Sacramento Peak in New Mexico, and the other at Kitt Peak in Arizona.
If the laboratory does come to Huntsville, 70 top scientists and engineers will come with it. The proposed site for the new laboratory would be in a new building behind the National Space Science and Technology Center.
The need to centralize the various facilities’ science staff is at the heart of this potential move. While actual data collection will still be done at the telescopes, the data can easily be shuttled off to another facility for analysis and research. Let’s hope that location is in Huntsville!
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