The shrinking Sun?
In 1980, NCAR began construction of an underground addition to house an instrument designed to determine whether the Sun was shrinking, as some scientists then claimed. A tunnel ran between the main Mesa Laboratory and a vacuum chamber housing the instrument. The instrument took measurements at regular intervals for a number of years, until it was clear that the Sunís diameter was not changing. Here, Tim Brown, the head of the experiment, is pictured in 1981 in front of the solar diameter instrument. Brown later did groundbreaking work at NCAR in detecting planets revolving around stars other than the Sun.