UPDATE 2: News reports say the Observatory is re-opening this week and the shut down was due to “criminal activity”. That’s about all we know for certain at the moment. I’d wager that unless what ever “criminal activity” means it better be big and made public because the conspiracy theory side of things is running amok as things stand now and ANYTHING less than “significant” will just feed that narrative.
There is a mystery in the United States astronomical community.
What is going on here? Hmmmm?
This from the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy:
AURA Addressing Security Issue at NSO Facility
September 14, 2018
The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is addressing a security issue at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) facility at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico and has decided to temporarily vacate the facility as a precautionary measure until further notice. All other NSO facilities are open and operating normally. AURA, which manages Sacramento Peak with funding from the National Science Foundation, is working with the proper authorities on this issue.
As with any “hush-hush” sort of thing rumors are sure to get going and really big things move the rumor-mill into full fledged conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories? Of course we have conspiracy theories, a bit of inappropriate language taints what could have been a great article it’s still pretty good, have a look.
There are a multitude of stories on this, I like the Daily Mail account.
Sooner or later we’ll find out what happened, until then enjoy the mystery.