Reaching For the Skies
Catron County has some of the darkest skies in the continental United States, as astronomers from all of the world know. Because of that Catron County is becoming a favorite spot for astronomers to set up observatories.
I sat down with Tom Csurilla, the owner and operator of Top of the World subdivision in Pie Town to talk about the appeal of our dark skies and how it’s effecting the local businesses.
“After this latest project is completed at Top of the World, we’ll have seven observatories right here in our subdivision,” Tom said, “And there are plenty more in other parts of Catron County.”
It turns out that a gentleman named Leonard Rose installed an observatory at Top of the World back in 2005. Since that time, Robert and Mary Sharp from Sacramento, Bobby and Theresa Birket, Janet Poque, and John Evalin all bought lots and installed their own observatories.
The technology inside these remarkable telescopes has continued to improve. Many of these new observatories are remotely operated. An astronomer can view stars from anywhere in the world and see the results on their laptop computer. And astronomers like nothing more than to share their findings with other astronomers. As a larger community of astronomers comes to our area, the more appealing the social aspect of astronomy will be part of the reason the appeal.
As word spreads about Catron County’s dark skies and burgeoning astronomy community expect more astronomers to come enjoy star gazing. And as the astronomer’s stars rise in the sky, so can the local businesses that cater to them.