Earlier, we posted pictures of a trip to Haystack Observatory without explaining much about the destination, thus this remedial post.
Haystack observatory was originally built in 1960 by MIT Lincoln Labs for the U.S. Air Force for microwave research (secret work at the time). In 1970, the Air Force transferred ownership to MIT, who then formed the Northeast Radio Observatory Corporation (NEROC) with the following schools: Boston University, Brandeis University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts, University of New Hampshire and Wellesley College. MIT's Lincoln Labs administers the site.
The observatory is currently being used to investigate the origin and evolution of the universe, tectonic plate measurements and movements and perform atmospheric/magnetospheric studies. For more detailed information, visit the MIT Haystack Web Site
The gates are open through the week and there are good photo opportunities for those interested in this sort of thing. You can ride to the location, which is easily found with Google, via back roads.