Court filings link observatory shutdown to porn

Sunspot Solar Observatory

The Richard B. Dunn Solar Telescope is the centerpiece of the Sunspot Solar Observatory on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico. (National Science Foundation Photo)

A federal search warrant indicates that the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico and surrounding homes were evacuated this month not because of alien visitation, but because of a child pornography investigation.

The warrant and an accompanying affidavit lays out the details of an FBI investigation that came to focus on a janitor who worked at the observatory atop Sacramento Peak, which serves as America’s national center for ground-based solar physics.

The details make for a story that has more in common with the police blotter than with the UFO tales and solar doomsday warnings that were spawned by the observatory’s previously puzzling 10-day closure.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Award-winning science writer, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
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