Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Griffith Observatory

I'd meant to go see the Griffith Observatory last year, but never got around to it.  On Nov. 6 I finally went.

It's in Griffith Park, and as parking at the site is minimal, they recommend hiking to it from a more distant parking lot.  Here's a photo of the trail going up:

It was late afternoon as I visited, I liked the light conditions:

Griffith Park overlooks the neighborhood of Los Feliz, here are a couple of photos of it:

View of the observatory from a bend in the trail:

View of part of Griffith Park from the same bend in the trail, looking the other way:

Getting closer...

The observatory has two big telescopes, here is the tower (is that what you call it?) that houses one of them:

This monument is on the front lawn:

Two views of the back of the building as the sun is setting:

Here are some of the people keeping vigil to watch the sunset:

There it goes:

Inside the building, I loved the ceiling mural in the entrance way.  It has elements of the four seasons, the zodiac, the planets, and an assortment of the gods of Greek Mythology:

Here's Atlas, holding up the earth:

The decorate friezes below it were also very interesting:

The exhibits were interesting, explaining various aspects of space, weather, seasons and so on.  There was one huge wall with a 2 degree X 15 degree photo of what a telescope (a really powerful one) sees, it was great.  It's called "The Big Picture", and is of the Virgo cluster of galaxies.  I forget how many millions of stars you can see in that one small slice, I think the guide said 2 million.

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