Locals come here not just for the astronomical museum or the planetarium, the Public Star Party host sidewalk and terrace views for amateur astronomers. The museum will host simultaneous events with the Star Party.
The Observatory was built in 1933 and renovated in 2002. It retains its distinctive art deco look of the 30’s.
When you enter, you will encounter a Foucault pendulum which swings back and forth. As the Earth rotates, this pendulum will hit markers on the floor in sequence depending on the rotation. It is a nice attraction for the kids. The Observatory is divided into many segments. The two halls that form the right and left buildings of the observatory consist of many astronomical exhibits such as a solar telescope and camera obscura.
Even though Los Angeles is full of lights and sounds at night, the Observatory offers some darkness and silence when one gazes up to the stars.
Hike up the trail to the Star Party because there is no parking. For the individual telescopes, be aware there may be long lines for a glimpse of what planet is in view at the time.
I came in Sept for the Star Party. The planet in view was Saturn. The telescopes at the Star Party were able to view the Rings of Saturn, pretty amazing. In December, we saw Venus. I bought a telescope.
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TUESDAYS: Sunset Walk and Talk Start: Observatory West Terrace.