The Roden Crater Observatory

We may have not delved into this area of things that are bizarre, but it is possible for something to be so extraordinary as to be bizarre and also be beautiful, amazing and brilliant. Such is the case with the subject of this blog post. One man is so dedicated to that which has inspired him that he has gone ahead and purchased an entire cinder cone crater in order to make his vision come true. That vision - an artistic naked eye observatory in the middle of the San Francisco Volcano Field at 5,400 feet. It is in the Roden Crater, to be precise.

The crater itself is something to behold. If you get the chance, find a shot of it from the sky. The red and black of the cinder cone are rather pretty in the context. Artist James Turrell stands at this location and wants people to have "a sense of standing on the planet" by integrating a structure at the location with the sky. If this sounds a lot like ancient structures like Stonehenge, that is because Turrell used ancient observatories and other monumental construction as inspiration for his project.

The Roden Crater naked eye observatory is not complete. Turrell, his investors and his team have put a lot of work into preparing the site. Nonetheless, there is still a lot to do and Turrell purchased the cinder cone in 1977! If time and effort are any indication of result, visiting this observatory is going to be a must-do. If you want to see visual representations and photos or donate to the project, go to