No observatory tours are scheduled at this time.
The Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) located in Big Bear Lake, California is operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Our main interest is the physics of the Sun and we observe solar phenomena with our dedicated telescopes and instruments. In addition to our own instruments we host an important helioseismology experiment: a GONG telescope from the Global Oscillation Network Group. The Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research at NJIT also studies the Sun in radio wavelengths at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory.
Big Bear Solar Observatory is now in the process of constructing our new 1.6 meter solar telescope. Our old telescope assembly has been removed. A new pier has been installed inside the observatory building. A new floor level for access to the new telescope has been built around the pier.
The primary mirror for NST arrived at BBSO on June 26.
Assembly of NST began on September 29, 2008. The primary mirror has been installed in its cell and alignment procedures have begun. Next the secondary mirror can be installed along with the M3 wavefront sensor equipment. Star images have been obtained and so far they are satisfactory.
Solar activity is at very low levels at this time. The current solar minimum is longer than any observed during the Space Age. What this implies for the strength of the new solar cycle is not clear, although cycles following long minima in the past have generally been relatively weak.
Our H-alpha full-disk telescope is operational again after having its mount replaced.
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