Mount Wilson Observatory

Mount Wilson Observatory opened in 1904, and for most of the first half of the 20th century, it became a home for the biggest telescopes and a destination for the world’s best scientists.

huntington.org

Harlow Shapley, Edwin Hubble and Albert Michelson were just a few of the scientists who worked out of the observatory, making discoveries that would change astronomy.

Mount Wilson Observatory is open daily between March 30 and December 1 and docent-led tours are held twice-daily on Saturdays and Sundays.

Here’s why and how you can visit Mount Wilson Observatory:

1. MOUNT WILSON’S FOUNDER, GEORGE ELLERY HALE WAS ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS SCIENTISTS OF HIS ERA

He was one of the most famous scientists of his time and went on to play a huge role in both astronomy and Southern California history. Mount Wilson’s popularity led to the founding of Griffith Observatory. Hale made several discoveries about the sun.

astro.umontreal.ca

2. FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20TH CENTURY, MOUNT WILSON WAS A DESTINATION FOR SCIENTISTS AND TOURISTS

Mount Wilson was a destination for scientists. Albert Einstein visited the observatory several times. Amongst the scientists who worked out of Mount Wilson was Margaret Harwood, who in 1923 became the first woman permitted to use the facility.

3. MOUNT WILSON’S TELESCOPES HELPED ASTRONOMERS UNDERSTAND OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE

Harlow Shapley was at Mount Wilson when he figured out the size of the Milky Way. In doing that he showed that our solar system wasn’t at the center of the galaxy. Edwin Hubble made his own discoveries, leading to his calculation of the distance to Andromeda.

4. SCIENCE IS STILL HAPPENING AT MOUNT WILSON

The introduction of the 200-inch telescope at Palomar in 1948 led astronomers further south in California. Georgia State University has an array of six CHARA (Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy) telescopes here, which they use for a variety of projects in their study of the sky.

5. THE 60-INCH AND 100-INCH TELESCOPES ARE AVAILABLE FOR THE PUBLIC

The 60-inch and 100-inch telescopes are so named for the diameter of the mirrors that are used to reflect the sky.

There are a few ways that people can peer through these telescopes. One is by attending the monthly Saturday lectures, which often conclude with time at the telescopes. You can also get a group together to reserve a night session inside either the 60-inch or 100-inch telescope dome. A third option is to attend one of the public ticket nights that are held throughout the year – you buy a ticket just for yourself and view with a group.

6. THERE’S A MINI-MUSEUM INSIDE THE 100-INCH TELESCOPE DOME

You’ll find Mount Wilson Observatory’s main museum, the Astronomical Museum, located outside of the auditorium. Amongst the items here are facsimiles of correspondence between Hale and luminaries like Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein. There’s also an adjunct museum that’s tucked into the bottom level of the 100-inch Telescope Dome.

7. THERE’S AN ILLUSION WAITING FOR YOU IN THE 100-INCH TELESCOPE

The 100-inch telescope dome rotates and sometimes – maybe if you’re here for a concert or a school field trip – someone will rotate it while you’re inside. If this happens, you might scratch your head and wonder, is the center of the room turning or are you?

8. MOUNT WILSON HOSTS MONTHLY TALKS AND A CONCERT SERIES

The observatory’s monthly Saturday evening lecture series takes place in the auditorium beginning at 5:30 p.m. After that, guests will have the chance to view the sky through either 60-inch or 100-inch telescope until about midnight. Capacity is limited to 250 people and, with tickets priced at $25, the talks tend to sell out.

Mount Wilson hosts a concert series on the second Sunday of the month featuring two afternoon performances (3 p.m. and 5 p.m.) inside the 100-inch telescope dome. Tickets are $50.

9. WHEN VISITING, KEEP UP-TO-DATE ON THE WEATHER

Mount Wilson’s website provides information on road closures and various links to keep tabs on weather conditions for your trip.

10. PLAN TO SPEND AN AFTERNOON HERE

Public tours are estimated to last up to two hours and those are available at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. during the regular season for $13-15 per person. To visit at your leisure, you can take a self-guided tour using a brochure that’s available to download on the Mount Wilson website. For food, the Cosmic Cafe is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during the regular season.

Phone: +16264409016
E-mail: [email protected]
Location:

Source: discoverlosangeles.com

L.A. Infused
All The Best Things To Do In Los Angeles! At least three times each day we say out loud "I love this city!" LAinfused.com is built on our love of LA and our absolute fear of missing out on all of the cool things to do here! When you’re looking for things to do in Los Angeles, this is your place.
RELATED ARTICLES

What's Hot

We Love Los Angeles! (exit)

We ❤️ Los Angeles!

Subscribe to our newsletter for news and special offers on things to eat, drink, see, and do in LosAngeles!

Don't worry, we won't sell your info to anyone or bombard your inbox with stuff you don't want. We want you to like us!

We Love Los Angeles!

We ❤️ Los Angeles!

Subscribe to our newsletter for news and special offers on things to eat, drink, see, and do in LosAngeles!

Don't worry, we won't sell your info to anyone or bombard your inbox with stuff you don't want. We want you to like us!