Griffith Observatory

2800 E. Observatory Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory.

Photo credit: By Matthew Field (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Griffith Observatory sits on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park. It is a popular tourist attraction with an excellent view of the Hollywood sign, and an extensive array of space and science-related displays. The Wilder Hall of the Eye focuses on astronomical tools like telescopes and how they evolved over time. Interactive features include a Tesla coil and a "Camera Obscura," which uses mirrors and lenses to focus light onto a flat surface. The Ahmanson Hall of the Sky focuses on objects that are normally found in the sky, like the Sun and Moon. The main centerpiece is a large solar telescope projecting images of the Sun, using a series of mirrors called coelostats. The Gunther Depths of Space Hall is dominated by "The Big Picture," depicting the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. It is the largest astronomically accurate image ever constructed, at 152 feet long by 20 feet high. Visitors can eat at The Café at the End of the Universe, an homage to Douglas Adams' Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Since the observatory opened in 1935, admission has been free, in accordance with the will of Griffith J. Griffith, the benefactor after whom the observatory is named. However, some planetary shows inside have a small added charge.

The observatory is a popular filming location. It was featured in two major sequences of the James Dean film "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), which helped to make it an international emblem of Los Angeles. It has also appeared in "Phantom from Space" (1953), "Tobor the Great" (1954), "The Terminator" (1984), "Earth Girls Are Easy" (1988), "The Rocketeer" (1991), "Transformers" (2007), "Terminator Salvation" (2009), "Terminator Genisys" (2015) and many other films.

This description includes material adapted from the Wikipedia article "Griffith Observatory", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. It has been edited for brevity and to conform with the style of this website. The edited description is distributed under the terms of the same Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 license.