Eastern Mojave Vegetation Fremont Station Observatory  
 

 

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  Colorado, Lake County, Climax
Photographed 23 July 2018.

Top Secret!

During World War II, the Fremont Station of the Harvard College Observatory on Ceresco Ridge was strictly off-limits to mine employees. No one knew what went on there. But Mine Superintendent Jack Abrahms regularly left his office so Observatory Director Walt Roberts could use the phone in private. Whatever was going on, it was important.
The observatory housed a piece of equipment called a Lyot-type coronagraph, a specialized telescope used to observe solar flares.
Roberts and his staff used the coronagraph to record flare activity, which interferes with radio communications. They coded the data, and phoned it to the Western Union office in Leadville, from where it was wired to Washington. Military planners used the information to schedule every major operation of World War II.
The University of Colorado became involved with the observatory after the war. It was moved to the slopes of Chalk Mountain (directly above you) to escape the town's lights. Data collected here in the 1960s was used by NASA to help schedule manned space flights.

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Date and time this page was prepared: 8/16/2019 12:51:15 PM