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My Visit to the Palomar Observatory

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#1 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:50 AM

My wife and drove from Los Angeles to the Palomar Observatory on October 9th to see the world famous 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope. The switchbacks were fairly bad during part of the drive up the mountain but no worse than on the trip to Mt. Wilson on October 5th.

Visiting another of the world's great observatories fulfilled my personal wish list for our trip to California. At one point, I met two of the astronomers doing research with the 200-inch that week at the back of the huge dome but I fear they had to contend with clouds from a persistent Pacific low-pressure system that night.

http://climate101wit...off-low-fina...

It was quite an experience seeing the telescope that did so much to expand mankind’s knowledge of the cosmos.

http://www.astro.cal...lomar/hale.html

The Palomar Observatory is located near Palomar Mountain in the northern part of San Diego County.

http://www.astro.cal...mages/socal.jpg

http://www.astro.cal...mages/nosdc.jpg

A video about the observatory can be seen at http://www.youtube.c...h?v=z3ogtybbO9w and a guided tour video of the 200-inch is available at http://www.youtube.c...h?v=UAsjgKeWCxw

Time-lapse videos of the 2010 Perseids shot at the observatory and the re-aluminizing of the 200-inch mirror in 2005 are posted at http://www.youtube.c...feature=related and http://www.youtube.c...&feature=fvwrel respectively.

Histories of the Palomar Observatory can be found at http://www.astro.cal...ar/history.html and http://www.sandiegoh...all/palomar.htm

The following are some of the photos that I took during our visit.

Dave Mitsky

Palomar Mountain, California

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#2 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:51 AM

Approaching the observatory parking lot

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#3 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:54 AM

Elevation 5550 feet

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#4 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:56 AM

The early bird catches the worm

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#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:56 AM

Walk, don't bike

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#6 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

Visitors must be gone by 4:45 p.m.

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#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:59 AM

On to the museum and the gift shop

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#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:01 AM

Corning Pyrex

http://www.cmog.org/...ar#.UL-3t4M0XTo

http://www.corning.c...ces/product_...

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#9 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:03 AM

The museum

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#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:04 AM

A cutaway model of the 200-inch Hale Telescope

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#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:06 AM

The model was constructed by none other than Stellafane's Russell Porter

http://stellafane.or...ft-history.html

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#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:08 AM

Picking up some souvenirs at the gift shop

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#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:16 AM

On to the mighty 200-inch!

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#14 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:19 AM

A close-up of the 135-foot-tall dome

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#15 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:21 AM

My wife and I met Peter Bishop, a fellow from Australia who was touring the United States

http://peterbsblog.w...-to-west-coast/

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#16 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:30 AM

The happy couple - thanks Peter

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#17 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:36 AM

Beware of snakes!

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#18 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:37 AM

Nearing the dome

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#19 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:37 AM

Climbing the stairs

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#20 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:39 AM

A walking stick has the same plans

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#21 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:43 AM

And now a word from our sponsors ;)

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#22 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:46 AM

George Ellery Hale

http://www.phys-astr...hale/index.html

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#23 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:47 AM

Hale died ten years before the observatory was completed

http://amazing-space...sson/bios/hale/

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#24 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:54 AM

On the way up to the visitors gallery

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#25 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:55 AM

The 200-inch Hale at last!

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