Los Angeles 2017: Griffith Observatory

March 14, 2017

By Tab Byrum

This recent trip to Los Angeles was the fourth time I’ve been there, every time we’ve been I always think we’ll make it up to Griffith Observatory but we never have, until now. We went up into the hills above LA to Mt. Hollywood on Saturday, it’s really pretty up there right now because with all the rain they’ve had this winter everything is very green. We parked along the road to the observatory and walked up to it, it’s all up hill so if you have someone that can’t do hills then leave them at home, Lol, no you can drop them off then park and walk up. The Griffith Observatory was founded on land donated to the city of Los Angeles by Griffith J. Griffith, he donated the land and left funds with the express wish for an observatory to be built and help make astronomy available to the public. The Griffith Observatory opened in 1935 with free admission which remains to this day. The observatory closed in 2002 for a major redesign project, the building was literally lifted up on jacks in one piece and a whole new “building” was built under the original observatory and reopened in 2006. Today that new area houses new exhibits, a cafe, gift shop, and the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater. The theater plays a wonderful 23 minute documentary on the history of the Griffith, as well as information on the recent, remodel and how it was done. I strongly urge you to visit the Griffith Observatory if you’re in LA, it’s well worth the trip to see the wonderful architecture and the view from Mount Hollywood of all of Los Angeles. Enjoy!!! 

As you walk up the road to the observatory you can look down and see all the walking trails.

See what I mean about how green everything is. Everyone is worried though when late summer and next fall arrives because now there will be so much new fuel for wildfires. Never Happy!!

A very popular place on a Saturday afternoon. 

The tops of the domes that house the telescopes are clad in copper panels, they decided not to clean the panels in the recent reconstruction. You can see how the outside of the building is stained from all the years of rain running off the copper panels. 

A view of one of the many skylines you can see from Mount Hollywood and the Griffith Observatory. 

Under the center dome is this painting and out of that hole in the center of the ceiling is a cable…

…and on the end of that cable is the Foucault Pendulum which demonstrates the rotation of the earth. The pendulum swings back and forth and everything beneath it moves with the earth’s rotation.

Around the tops of the walls in the pendulum room are these beautiful paintings showing science and scientists through the centuries. 

This is the new exhibit area built under the original museum, it houses several exhibits including this one showing how the planets compare to each other in size. 

In the above picture of the planets, you can see on the back wall to the right a massive photo of space, that photo is the amount of space taken up by Albert Einstein’s finger in the photo above of the sculpture of Einstein. Click here for more info. 

My nerd had to sit with Einstein.

A wonderful few hours spent high above the City of Angels. 

Words and pictures
are my own.

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