Saturday, November 1, 2008

A visit to the Hale Observatory at Mt. Palomar

We made the 40 mile trip to the famous Hale Observatory at Mt. Palomar which is just to the east of us while at the Rancho Outdoor Resort. This is the home of the 200" reflecting telescope which is something we had read about for years.

Here is the 200 inch telescope observatory from about 1/4 mile away. Wow, this thing is HUGE! The observatory is open for tours during the day, but is quite a walk from the parking area. There are also very few signs leading up to the scope, so we took a couple of wrong turns, but eventually got to the site.

The telescope itself is viewed though a glass wall that allows you to see the huge components. The mirror weighs some 14.5 tons and is 200" in diameter. The entire telescope is about 100' high and is one of the largest telescopes in the world.

This picture of Orinda in the entrance gives an idea of the large size of the telescope enclosure.

There is also an interesting museum associated with the observatory which features many pictures of the telescope and some of the amazing pictures that have been taken.

This was Rick's favorite picture -- amazing!

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