Overlooked by the iconic Hollywood sign one finds the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. As has that famous sign the Observatory has also appeared in the backdrop of many famous silver screen productions that have been set in Los Angeles. It also has another claim to fame. It is one of the largest working observatories in the world that is open to the public. A trip to this landmark must be part of every visit to LA. The visitor is treated to the opportunity to take in some of the most awe-inspiring planetarium shows, view fascinating exhibits about the universe and the Milky Way galaxy – and as a special treat took a look through one of the enormous telescopes that are trained at the heavens.
These Zeiss Telescopes are the source of wonder for many who visit the Observatory. There are two main scientific instruments – a twelve-inch and a nine and a half-inch refracting telescope. But those who are waiting their turn to look through these incredible scientific devices will also have access to a number of telescopes on the property that are open to public use. There is also a large selection of other stargazing equipment such as solar telescopes and Coelostats.
The uniqueness of a public access scientific station is not be scoffed at. One of the main purposes of the venue is the engender those who visit with a spirit of exploration of the universe around us – as well as our own planetary system. This makes it very different from most other observatories which are dedicated to the pursuit of science – and the public is usually barred from entry.
The Griffith Observatory should be on the bucket list of every visitor to Los Angeles – after all, it is not every day when one has the chance to experience views that are usually reserved for scientists who study the cosmos in all its glory.