Friday, June 27, 2014

Touring the Mount Wilson Observatory

From 2014 06 14 Mt Wilson

While visiting southern California for the Caltech commencement ceremony, Ellen and I took the opportunity to tour the Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains.

The mountains are a welcome change from the crowds of the Los Angeles basin. Mostly in the Angeles National Forest, the scenery is magnificent. Even without the observatories as a destination, the ride alone would be worth it. But the observatories are a treasure all by themselves.

More after the jump.

The observatories are not just fascinating scientific instruments, they are important artifacts in the history of science. It was at Mount Wilson that it was discovered that the sun is not at the center of the universe, that the Milky Way galaxy is just one of billions, and that the universe is expanding. The conclusion that there must have been a Big Bang directly followed from that discovery. With respect to where we learned that humans aren't at the center of creation, Mount Wilson is at the center of that discovery.

From 2014 06 14 Mt Wilson

From 2014 06 14 Mt Wilson

All of our photos from our visit to Mount Wilson can be seen on Google Photos.

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