Mount Wilson Observatory


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Los Angeles, California

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Mount Wilson Observatory, Los Angeles, California

About Mount Wilson Observatory

Sitting on top of the peak of Mount Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena, California, is a sanctuary for exploring the universe– the Mount Wilson Observatory. This institution, founded by George Ellery Hale in 1904, has played a pivotal role in shaping our understanding of the universe.

From its inception, the Mount Wilson Observatory has been home to some of the most significant telescopes in the history of modern astronomy. Among its prestigious lineage are the two largest telescopes of their time, instrumental in groundbreaking discoveries that have profoundly impacted our scientific knowledge.

In its early years, the Observatory was aptly named the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory, reflecting Hale’s dedication to studying our nearest star. Here, Hale relocated the Snow Solar Telescope from Yerkes Observatory, driven by his quest to continue his pioneering research on Mount Wilson.

In 1919, with the unveiling of the world’s largest telescope at the time – the awe-inspiring 100-inch – the word “Solar” was dropped from its name, symbolizing a new era of cosmic investigation. Through this telescope, astronomer Edwin Hubble made his revolutionary discoveries, revealing that our Milky Way is merely one of countless galaxies in an ever-expanding universe. This began our current understanding of the Big Bang model and the origins of our cosmos.

Today, the Mount Wilson Observatory welcomes visitors from around the world to admire the historic telescopes, attend lectures and concerts, and enjoy the educational programs that inspire wonder and ignite a passion for the mysteries of the universe.

Highlights

The Mount Wilson Observatory offers a number of services for its guests to take advantage of.

  • TOURS: Explore the history, science, and technology of Mount Wilson Observatory
  • EVENTS: Concerts, lectures, public telescope nights, & more!
  • OBSERVING: For an experience of a lifetime, view celestial objects through our historic 60-inch or 100-inch telescopes.
  • HISTORY: Conceived & founded by George Ellery Hale in 1904, the Observatory is home to some of the most important telescopes in the development of modern astronomy.

Their vibe is wonderful!

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In the Press

Enhanced Sonic Experience: Mount Wilson Observatory marries science, nature and music

In the vibrant landscape of Los Angeles, you’ll find a plethora of renowned concert venues ranging from cozy clubs to grand theaters and sprawling stadiums. Yet, the true gems among them offer more than just exceptional sound—they boast breathtaking scenery and rich histories that elevate the entire concert experience. Take, for instance, the Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome at Mount Wilson Observatory. Perched atop the majestic peak towering over Pasadena in the San Gabriel Mountains, this unique series blends the wonders of science, the beauty of nature, and the magic of live music. Drawing in both astronomy enthusiasts and music aficionados alike, it’s a harmonious fusion of art and exploration unlike any other. Read more here: https://www.pasadenaweekly.com/arts_and_events/enhanced-sonic-experience-mount-wilson-observatory-marries-science-nature-and-music/article_0eed464e-36e4-11ee-bdff-2b7f6e133215.html