Los Angeles 411: Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
Looking up at the sky on a clear night once may catch a glance of a shooting star, a comet shower, or during December, perhaps even Santa riding in his sled. The heavens beckon a sense of curiosity and wonder about worlds, the solar system and universes beyond our own. Entertaining our mind's eye, the Griffith Observatory gives visitors a peak into the last frontier and washes our sights over with a sense of humility as we recognize just how small we are in the grand scheme of things.
A mainstay of the Griffith Observatory that has help secure the Griffith Observatory as one of the premier public observatories in the world, is the regular availability of high-quality telescopes for public viewing. The Zeiss Telescope, a 12-inch refracting telescope, has been available for viewing since the observatory's beginnings in 1935 and looked through by more than seven million people. The public may use the Zeiss Telescope free of charge every day and night the sky is clear.
Among the other long-standing telescopes at the observatory include three solar telescopes and free-standing telescopes. The solar telescopes operate during the daytime hours while the free-standing telescopes most nights. Griffith Observatory also welcomes the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and Sidewalk Astronomers to hold star parties on the premises once per month which also offers free viewings for the public. Lastly, the observatory offers mounted coin-operated telescopes, which enable visitors for viewing the Los Angeles basin and its surroundings including the mountains.
The newest addition to the Griffith Observatory is The Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, a 200-seat multimedia theater and nearby classroom. Together, the theater and classroom provide 2,700 square feet dedicated to teaching and learning activities. Set up with stadium seating and state-of-the-art technology, the theater provides visitors with an extraordinary experience. The Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater nicely complements the other theater on the premises, which is the Planetarium. The Samuel Oschin Planetarium is the finest planetarium in the world with a Zeiss star projector, laser digital projection, an aluminum dome, theatrical lighting and 285 plush seats.
In addition to its fine theater, world-class planetarium, and powerful telescopes, Griffith Observatory also offers a host of exhibits that encourage visitors to contemplate the scale and scope of the universe and humanity's place in it. The Griffith Observatory is open six days a week-- Tuesdays through Fridays from 12 noon to 10 pm as well as weekends from 10 am to 10 pm. Admission to the observatory is FREE; however, there is a small fee for tickets to the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. Griffith Observatory is located at 2800 East Observatory Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027. For more information, please call: (213) 473-0800.