Gallery 2 - A Pilot's View   >   The Strange and Unusual   >   Solar Furnace

This large solar furnace near Barstow, California was once used to generate energy. It has hundreds of large mirror assemblies or heliostats that track the sun, reflecting the solar energy onto a tower where a black receiver absorbs the heat. This plant was decommissioned in 1999 and converted to an observatory starting in 2001 by the University of California. CACTUS had its last observing run in 2005. The whole site has since been leveled and returned to vacant land in November, 2009. This photo was taken on May 23, 2009 just before its demolition.