NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Wednesday’s NewSpace Nexus fun fact is that the Apache Point Observatory (APO) is located in the Sacramento Mountains. The astronomical observatory is home to four telescopes and has one of the few telescopes in the world that is equipped with a lunar laser.

The observatory is run by New Mexico State University and is owned by the Astrophysical Research Consortium. Scientists at the observatory look at everything from very small comets to huge galaxies.

One of the benefits of New Mexico’s observatory is that the night sky appears extremely dark from the secluded area; this gives scientists more visibility to clearly examine space from Earth. The APO’s lunar laser regularly measures the distance from the Earth to the Moon, shooting a laser at reflectors that were placed on the Moon during the Apollo missions.