Posted by: mdmusingsie | February 24, 2018

California Dreamin’ (Part 3)

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been to an observatory.  You know, the kind with the telescopes that look up into the night sky?

I’ve been to several in my lifetime, and there were seldom more than a dozen or so people on the premises.

When we reached Griffith Observatory, up a very winding road, high into the Hollywood Hills, I was shocked at the number of people there.  There had to be several hundred, at least.

The lawn was full of amateur astronomers with their telescopes pointed at the sky. They allowed visitors to peek through the lenses to observe the moon (it was daylight), for free.  Inside the triple domed building are plenty of free exhibits, but if you want to go to the planetarium, there is a charge and the line was long.

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The views up there are amazing.  You can see almost all the way to Santa Monica. Looking at downtown LA from there, the number of skyscrapers appear far fewer than when you in the middle of them.

Once the sun sets you can stick around and view the heavens through the big telescopes in the observatory. People were already queuing an hour before sunset, so the astronomers let people in and gave a little talk about the observatory.  It included an amusing story about a woodpecker who came to visit and stayed around until the nuts it kept bringing in began to jam the mechanism that opens the aperture of the dome.

While we didn’t stay for nightfall, we did get to see an amazing sunset over LA and the surrounding areas.

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Sunset over LA

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Well worth checking out if you’re ever in the area.

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