Apr 042014
April 4, 2014 - Studying Exoplanets: NESSI Achieves First Light

Edited 3/5/2014 Four and half years since its initial conception, the New Mexico Exoplanet Spectroscopic Survey Instrument (NESSI), a multi-object near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer achieved first light using the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) 2.4-meter telescope. In the past, exoplanet spectroscopy was only possible with space-based telescope. NESSI is one of the first ground-based characterization instruments and is attracting attention from astrophysicists around the world, placing MRO in the forefront of exoplanet research. NESSI is a spectrometer designed, built, and optimized for probing chemical composition of atmospheres of exoplanets—planets orbiting distant stars, outside of our Solar System.  Using spectroscopy to observe exoplanets’ atmospheres allows […]

Mar 182014
March 18, 2014 - NRAO Summer School Hike

Magdalena Ridge Observatory will be hosting students from NRAO’s Summer School on May 17th, 2014. The students will hike from Water Canyon all the way up to the ridge where they will be served lunch and participate in activities until they return down the mountain. For more information, contact Craig Walker at  or the webmaster.

Jan 192014
January 19, 2014 - MRO Secures Funding in the 2014 Omnibus Appropriations Funding Bill

The Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) has been appropriated $4M under the 2014 Federal Omnibus Appropriations Funding Bill which was signed by President Obama on Saturday, January 18th. Both U.S. Senator Tom Udall and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich praised the Bill and the appropriations to New Mexico, which includes the Magdalena Ridge Observatory where the MRO Interferometer is under construction. In announcing the appropriations to New Mexico, Senator Udall stated, “Sequestration was incredibly damaging to New Mexico, and would have cost us jobs and scarred our economy had another round of cuts gone into effect in 2014,” Udall said. “I fought […]

Jan 162014
January 16, 2014 - Dr. Eileen Ryan Presents at the 223rd American Astronomical Society Meeting

Dr. Eileen Ryan presented a talk at the American Astronomical Society’s 223rd meeting on January 5-9 in Washington D.C. She spoke about the MRO’s 2.4-meter telescope and how it is being used to track and characterize Near-Earth objects. The talk may be viewed on the AAS Archive Press Conference Webcasts. Dr. Ryan also addressed an international community (with representatives from ESA, DLR, Russian Academy of Science, IAU, NASA, Canada, etc.) on January 13 in Boston at the Minor Planet Center, Harvard Center for Astrophysics. She summarized the project’s work in the field of detection, characterization, and mitigation of potentially hazardous objects. The meeting was […]

Nov 032013
November 3, 2013 - MRO Interferometer Accepts First Unit Telescope at NMT Campus

The first MRO Interferometer (MROI) Unit Telescope (UT) arrived from Belgium at the New Mexico Tech (NMT) campus on Friday November 1st. The long awaited arrival of the telescope, a major milestone for the project, which has been more than 15 years in the making. The crate containing the telescope was opened on Monday, November 4th at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC) and the telescope will be stored there until it is transported to the Telescope Receiving Facility, part of the MRO visitors center and maintenance facility (VCMF) on the Magdalena Ridge at the end of February, 2014. […]