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Southern California Astronomy Tour

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    Rueben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center - Balboa Park
    Included here is the world's first OmniMax Theater Dome (1973) with multimedia planetarium, and space science exhibit galleries.

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory [JPL]
    JPL's main 72-hectare (177-acre) site is at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. Managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology, JPL is the leading US center for robotic exploration of the solar system. The center hosts tours, lecture series and its popular Open House. Visitors will see exhibits, displays, demonstrations and presentations about new technologies, solar system exploration, spacecraft communication and much more.

    Goldstone JPL Facility - Ft Irwin CA
    Deepspace Radio Network

    Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is located about 35 miles north of Barstow on the Ft. Irwin Military Base. Our tour begins at the Goldstone museum where three large areas are dedicated to current missions, past missions, and Deep Space Network history - plus there is a hands-on room for children. The guided tour then travels around the 53-square-mile complex to view the large antennas. All tours must be scheduled in advance.

    Palomar Observatory - CalTech
    Palomar Observatory is home to the historic Hale 200-inch telescope. Other facilities on the mountain include the 60-inch, 48-inch, 18-inch and the Snoop telescopes. The 60-inch telescope is home to the Automated Transient Observing System. The 48-inch telescope is home to the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking and Palomar-QUEST surveys.

    Mount Laguna Observatory [MLO] - SDSU
    MLO is located forty-five miles east of downtown San Diego, at an altitude of 6100 ft. (1859 meters) on the remote eastern edge of the Cleveland National Forest. MLO is well protected from the urban lighting of the San Diego metropolitan area. MLO has grown to include four well-equipped telescopes, ranging in size from 16- to 40-inches and has plans to add a 100-inch in the near future.

    Griffith Observatory and Planetarium
    The Griffith Observatory has been a major Los Angeles landmark since 1935. It was visited by nearly two million people each year and ranked as one of the top tourist attractions of Southern California. It sits on the southern slope of Mount Hollywood where it commands a stunning view of the Los Angeles basin below. Tens of millions of people enjoyed the view from its balconies and terraces, especially at night.

    Mount Wilson Observatory
    Public viewing through the 60-inch telescope is available to individuals and groups. The Hooker 100-inch telescope can be seen from the Visitors' Gallery inside the dome and there is a small astronomical museum on the observatory grounds. During the first half of the twentieth century Mt. Wilson was successively home to the worldís two largest telescopes as well as the most powerful facilities in existence for studying the sun.

    Landers Dark Sky Observing Site
    Riverside Astronomical Society;
    The Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station has become the official dark sky site for the RAS, located in Landers, CA in the California Desert.

    Charles Temple Observatory
    Moorpark College, 7075 Campus Rd, Moorpark, CA 93021; (805) 378-1400; College Website;
    Ventura County Astronomical Society -

    Carnegie Observatories - Pasadena CA
    Renowned astronomical research facility founded by George Hale and Andrew Carnegie. Operate 48-inch and 100-inch telescopes on Las Campanas, Chile. Tours available.

    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    California Institute of Technology

    4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109; (818) 354-9314; JPL Website;
    Advance reservations required for public tours. Open House in Mid-May.

  • Solar system exploration missions
  • Deep space exploration missions
  • Support for Humans in Space - Space Shuttle and International Space Station
  • Earth Observation Missions

    MSAS Astronomy Village - Lake Arrowhead
    The Mountain Skies Astronomical Society operates this high-tech observatory. Call for info on stargazing programs.

    More Southern California Observatories
    Big Bear Solar Observatory - Big Bear Lake
    Goldstone - Apple Valley Radio Telescope - Located on the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex near Barstow; a retired Deep Space Network antenna turned into a student operated radio telescope for the Apple Valley School District
    Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) - Operated by Caltech

Adventure Links Tour Southern California Astronomy Clubs

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