Sunday, October 5, 2008

Trips: Griffith Observatory

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Griffith Observatory North Doors

We went to the Griffith Observatory last Friday with a few of my friends from my review class. It was our time to break free from the books and review and we indulged to our hearts content.

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Astronomer's Monument

Since elementary, I have been fascinated with the universe. I devoured every picture book that contained anything about the Universe and watched any documentary on the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. In fact, I even wrote a paper in high school about aliens. Weird, huh? Well, that's me!

This was an opportunity of a lifetime. I finally got to see the Griffith Observatory and all its glory. Unfortunately, we weren't able to see the Planetarium because we arrived late and my friend Michelle had her kids with her. We had fun and I know the kids enjoyed it too!

Ate Carmela, Michelle, Me (photog: MJ)

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Pia, Michelle's daughter

The land on which the observatory stands was donated to the City of Los Angeles by Col. Griffith J. Griffith in 1896. In his will, Griffith donated funds to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium on the donated land. Construction began on June 20, 1933 using a design developed by architect John C. Austin based on preliminary sketches by Russell W. Porter. The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public on May 14, 1935.

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Western View of the Valley

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Zeiss Telescope Sign

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Zeiss Telescope

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Foucault Pendulum

The first exhibit visitors encountered in 1935 was the Foucault pendulum, which was designed to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. The exhibits also included a twelve-inch (305 mm) Zeiss telescope, a solar telescope, and a thirty-eight foot relief model of the moon's north polar region.

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Nighttime View of the City

I haven't seen the Planetarium yet but my mom and I are planning to drop by soon and see the whole exhibit. Unfortunately, we weren't able to check out the lower level exhibits.

Griffith Observatory
2800 East Observatory Road
Los Angeles, CA 90027
General Information Line: 213-473-0800
L.A. City's "311" Information Line: 866-4LACITY
Hearing Impaired Reservation Line: 888-TDD-2555

Entrance is free
My rating:5 STARS

Griffith Observatory