Explore Alliance Events: 2022 Mount Wilson Observatory Star Party and The Huntington Library
The Mount Wilson Observatory Experience
“What a great event, Scott. I am looking forward to the next one already.“
"I want to thank the whole ES team. I had a terrific time. While of course I wish we could have had better weather, I still think of the day as a highlight of my astronomical hobby...The spectography lecture was solid and interesting. David's [Levy] was surprisingly human, and a real pleasure, especially following two pretty technical lectures. The tour of the facilities was a highlight for sure. I have already signed up for next year."
"It was a true honor for me to speak in such a near mythically historical location. Great thanks especially to Steve [Edberg] for bringing his superb spectral demo box (and his willingness to don the lab coat!)"
-Claude Plymate, Telescope Engineer and Chief Observer for the Big Bear Solar Observatory
The Explore Alliance is honored to announce that we will conduct the 2022 edition of an astronomy experience unlike any other at the historic Mount Wilson Observatory with the 60-inch Telescope, and the historic solar telescopes, the Snow and the 150 Foot Tower, and a day at the jewel of San Marino, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
This intellectually stimulating weekend engagement will be conducted starting October 7th. Participation is limited which will give you generous observing time and a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact through the observing session with our amazing group of speakers.
This event is perfect for anyone, beginners to experienced who share a passion for exploring the cosmos, and it will be a very rare opportunity to observe the planets and the cosmos with the iconic and historic 60-inch Telescope in the company of these legendary space explorers and astronomers.
The 2022 event will deepen your understanding of the universe even further with these featured speakers:
Your Telescope for the Night, the Venerable and Historic 60-inch!
As you climb the stairs into the observatory dome, you will pass by the original lockers that still bear the names of the astronomers that used one of the most productive and successful telescopes in astronomical history, the 60-inch Telescope. Designed by George Willis Ritchey the 60-inch heralded the innovations that all modern telescopes today are influenced by. It was built under the guidance of George Ellery Hale who received the 60-inch (1.5 m) mirror blank, cast by glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain in France in 1896 as a gift from William Hale, his father. Hale finally received funding from Carnegie eight years later to begin work on the telescope with mirror grinding and polishing by Ritchey with First Light occurring in 1908. The 60-inch Telescope has been in continuous use almost every clear night to this day since its inception, and was the world's largest operational telescope until Hale went on to complete the Mt. Wilson 100-inch telescope in 1918.
The 60-inch was used by a long list of iconic astronomers including George Ellery Hale, Edwin Hubble, Walter Bade, and Harlow Shapely who joined the staff at Mt. Wilson in 1914. Shapely's study of the distribution of globular clusters in the Milky Way proved that our solar system did not lie in the center of our galaxy as was commonly believed, deducing that the Sun lies at a distance of 30,000 light years from the galactic center. This work with the 60-inch Telescope led to the first realistic estimate for the actual size of the Milky Way Galaxy, and was a major milestone in galactic astronomy.
Although there are few larger telescopes that are used for public observations, the telescope's diffraction-limited aperture of 60-inches, and the routinely good seeing conditions of Mt. Wilson may be one of the world's best visual instruments available anywhere. You will be treated to unforgettable super high-resolution views of the galaxies, nebulae, globular star clusters, planetary nebulae, and solar system objects. Objects like Saturn reveal subtleties and splits in the Rings that are rarely directly seen, amazing features and hues on Mars will leave you stunned. Because of the shear aperture of the telescope combined with proper eyepieces you can directly see vivid colors in planetary nebulae and intense color saturation in many stars is undeniable.
For those familiar with using telescopes, the 60-inch (1524mm aperture) has a focal length of 24,384mm. There are several specialized eyepieces used on the telescope's 4-inch focuser including the Explore Scientific 30mm 100 Degree Series Waterproof Eyepiece, which produces 813X producing a 7.4 arc minute true field of view.
Commemorative Items and Door Prizes
All Participants will receive a special Mt. Wilson Astronomer Certificate signed by the Session Director and the Telescope Operator to remember your Explore Scientific Experience at Mount Wilson, and you will receive a ticket for the chance to win valuable door prizes with easy odds since this is a small group!
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
The George Ellery Hale/Henry Edwards Huntington connection runs deep. Learn more about it here.
Encompassing approximately 130 acres of the 207-acre grounds, the Botanical Gardens contain more than a dozen spectacular themed gardens, including:
- Liu Fang Yuan 流芳園, the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, reflects the traditional style of scholar gardens in Suzhou, China, and features a 1.5-acre lake, a complex of pavilions, a teahouse and tea shop, stone bridges, and waterfalls set against a wooded backdrop of mature oaks and pines. The garden’s final phase includes new pavilions, a restaurant, and an exhibition complex. At more than 15 acres, the garden is one of the largest classical-style Chinese gardens in the world.
- The Japanese Garden, set along a canyon to the south of the Chinese Garden, comprises a traditional Japanese house, a moon bridge, a walled Zen garden, bonsai courts, and Seifu-an, a ceremonial teahouse and garden.
- The Desert Garden features one of the largest outdoor collections of mature cacti and succulents in the world.
- The Frances and Sidney Brody California Garden in the Steven S. Koblik Education and Visitor Center is arranged along a central allée of olive trees. The garden includes native and adaptive plantings set among hedge rooms in a nod toward more formal landscape design.
- The Frances Lasker Brody Botanical Center features:
- The Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden, introducing youngsters to the wonders of the natural world through interactive sculptural elements
- The Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science and the Associated Foundations Teaching Greenhouse, providing hands-on botanical science opportunities for children and families, and showcasing orchids and other tropical collections
- Laboratories for botanical research where botanists are using cryopreservation techniques to safely freeze and conserve fragile plant tissue, and where genetic research reveals much about the evolutionary history of cycads
- The Ranch Garden, for testing and demonstrating contemporary ideas about sustainable urban agriculture.
- Collections include some 2,000 living plant taxa (different types of plants).
- Additional garden areas are devoted to roses and camellias, each collection with more than 1,000 different cultivars.
- The Australian, Herb, Jungle, Lily Ponds, Palm, and Subtropical gardens are among other important botanical attractions.
The Art Museum features European and American art spanning more than 500 years and includes more than 42,000 objects. Extraordinary examples of decorative arts and folk art, paintings, prints and drawings, photography, and sculpture are displayed in the Huntington Art Gallery, the original home of Henry and Arabella Huntington, and in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. Both buildings also showcase smaller, temporary exhibitions that focus on masterworks in the collection or place The Huntington’s historic works in conversation with contemporary artistic practice.
The Huntington Library is one of the world's great independent research libraries, with some 11 million items spanning the 11th to the 21st century. These extraordinary and diverse materials are centered on 14 intersecting collection strengths: American history; architecture; British history; early printed books; Hispanic history and culture; history of science, medicine, and technology (including a 13th-century Ptolemy Almagest manuscript); literature in English; maps and atlases; medieval manuscripts; prints, posters, and ephemera; photography; Pacific Rim history and culture; California history and culture; and history of the American West.
Schedule: October 7th, 2022 - Friday at Mount Wilson Observatory
- 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Parking and Orientation at the 60-inch Dome with overflow parking in the main parking lot below; Walk to the Mt. Wilson Museum Google Map
- 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Lecture
- 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch with our Speakers and Session Staff
- 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Lecture
- 2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Door Prizes
- 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Lecture
- 4:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Special Tour of Mt. Wilson Observatories
- 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Refreshments and Orientation with the 60-inch
- 8:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m. 60-inch Telescope Observing Session
Observing Session with the 60-inch Telescope
- Site Location: Mt. Wilson Observatory 60-inch Telescope; Lat: 34:13:33 N Long: 118:03:26 W; Google Map
- Altitude: 5713 feet; 1741 meters
- Time Zone: -08 Hours from GMT
- Observing: 8:00 p.m. (20:00) to 1:00 a.m. (01:00) Pacific
- Object List: The Planets; Features of the Moon: Select Deep Sky Objects
- Operators: TBA
Schedule: October 8th, 2022 - Saturday at The Huntington Library
- Site Location The Huntington Library.
- Visiting Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Add a Group Tour - Starts: 10:00 a.m.
Image credits: Carnegie Institute; The Huntington Library; Scott Roberts; Babak A. Tafreshi
CA Residents: Prop 65 WARNING(S)