SOC 2019: Saab Sunroof Observatory

Mt Evans Observatory

What does the Saab Owners Convention have to do with astronomy, you ask?

It’s here at the lofty elevation of 14,125 feet; you’ll find the world’s highest, permanently installed Saab sunroofs (the peak of Mt. Evans stands a smidge higher at 14,268 ft). Only these sunroofs are used for cooling the dome of the Meyer-Womble Observatory and its 28 ½ inch refractor telescope. The chief building contractor Patrick Meyer (a Saab Owner) proposed the sunroofs when the design called for contoured ventilation doors intended to control image distortion. This epiphany occurred, naturally, when the contractor observed a corresponding radius in the roof of his very own classic 900! Jerry Danner and the crew at Mile Hi Automotive happily donated the roofs of six decommissioned Saab 900s for the noble cause.

A paved state highway leads to the site, but drivers should be reasonably comfortable with narrow mountain roads and high altitude (persons with breathing difficulties should seek medical direction). From Loveland and SOC 2019, allow approximately four hours round trip.