We spent Thursday evening at the Griffith Park Observatory in the mountains north of Los Angeles. The site is a historic space observatory with a functioning telescope, but may be more recognizable as the set for The Terminator, Transformers, and Rebel Without a Cause. It was a great opportunity for the students to get a view of LA county in its entirety (including the notorious smog!). We experienced some true LA traffic on our way to the park, but once we finally arrived, the students enjoyed the sunset view of downtown and the Hollywood sign (for most, it was their first time seeing it!) as well as the numerous exhibits inside the observatory about the history and future of space observation, exploration, and discovery.
After sunset, many of the students attended a planetarium presentation inside the observatory, titled “Centered in the Universe.” The presentation explored how space observation has long played a role in helping people answer fundamental questions about culture, history, and existence, from constellations and mythic cosmologies to today’s investigation of the physical origins and trajectories of the universe.
Our students and staff had a great night taking in the beauty of LA from above and exploring the historic observatory!