I titled this blog post “Farming the Stars.” Does it sound like something out of science fiction? But it’s not. The stars are a viable product, especially in remote places like rural New Mexico.
This is a big state, and to get anywhere, it takes miles and miles of travel. Sometimes you spot a lonely house and wonder how anyone can survive or make a living out here. It takes lots of acreage to raise one steer, since the desert environment doesn’t provide many plants for the animal to forage on.
Yet, sometimes the middle of nowhere is the asset.
Recently the Albuquerque Journal ran an article about how difficult astronomers find it to locate deep darkness due to all the light pollution of cities and towns. The pollution interferes with their photos and studies of the stars and the universe. However in extremely rural areas where the light interference is minimal, telescopes can be set up.
These telescopes are built into sheds with concrete foundations. They are operated remotely, using the internet. Amateurs and astronomers can take photos from these telescopes from as far away as Singapore. Those who want access pay a rental fee. They never have to actually visit the telescope.
The telescopes are very valuable. To prevent theft, they have concrete foundations. Also someone on site does the maintenance and keeps an eye out as security. Because the telescopes are so remote, any stranger is immediately noticed.
I found the article to be a fascinating read. Immediately I thought of how a writer could have a character who wants to be a hermit take this kind of a job to survive. Or maybe a child grows up so remotely and longs to actually see the world, instead of the universe. The link below goes to the article. I hope you find it as interesting as I did.