There are two Zeiss telescopes at the observatory. Used for nighttime viewing, the 12-inch and 9 1/2- inch refracting telescopes are typically set to view the moon, planets and bright stars. These telescopes are set up for public use and have also been used in research. They are situated in the East roof-top dome.
There are three solar telescopes set up in the rotunda of the Hall of the Sky. These telescopes are used to view the sun. Set up in conjunction with a tracking device called a coelostat, which has three mirrors. This device, along with the telescopes and another set of mirrors, bring the sun to earth allowing visitors to see sun flares and sun spots. Various filters are in place to make the sunlight viewable by the human eye without damaging their vision. This solar telescope system is available for viewing the sun on clear days.
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Other freestanding telescopes may be set up at the Observatory based on the need to allow more people the chance for viewing. Coin operated telescopes are also available on the grounds.
Roof and Terraces
Visit the rooftop spectacular views of the Los Angeles bowl as it provides the perfect vantage point. Allowing 360 degree views one can take in Los Angeles for miles around. The roof is open to the public when the building is open; typically closing at 10:00 p.m.
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The South Gallery is home to a stunning A. B. Heinsbergen mural of the sun. Also on exhibit are several images of solar proportion.
W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda
The W.M. Keck Foundation Central Rotunda is breathtaking. The high domed ceiling, featuring a mural by Hugo Ballin, is painted with mythological and scientific figures in the heavens. It is a magnificent piece of art. Honoring the founder of the Observatory is the Griffith J. Griffith Exhibit featuring the signed declaration of his donation of land to the city of Los Angeles. Also featured in the rotunda are some iconic images from space. Finally, the literal focal point of the rotunda is the Foucault Pendulum. The pendulum traces the revolutions of the earth.
Solar System Lawn Model
Facing the north doors is a brass etching of the solar system. This model is to scale. Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles - Photo: Don/Fotolia
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