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Mt. Wilson Observatory: Centre of scientific breakthroughs
The installation of the 100-inch Hooker telescope in 1917 set the stage for two shocking discoveries: The universe was far larger than anyone imagined and it was expanding.

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California fire threatens historic observatory
A rampaging fire in the Angeles National Forest in southern California is threatening a historic observatory at the summit of Mount Wilson, as well as a dense crowd of television transmitters there.


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Station Fire grows, threatens communications towers, observatory at Mt. Wilson
Television and radio communications towers at Mt. Wilson and the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory will likely be overtaken by fire Sunday night, U.S. Forest Service Incident Commander Rick Dietrich said in a press conference.

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Mount Wilson Observatory Tower WebCam

towercamB.jpg
Expand (1280 x 960)

Position: 34.224N,  -118.058W

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Fire continues out of control
An explosive fire that destroyed dozens of buildings, burned through 30-foot high vegetation and forced thousands of evacuations continued to spread Saturday, torching more than 20,000 acres in an area that hasn't burned in four decades, officials said.

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Weary firefighters were hoping for slightly cooler weather and more resources today as they battled a fire in the Angeles National Forest that had burned more than 20,000 acres and threatens 10,000 homes.
The fire marched north overnight through remote mountain ridges toward Acton. The U.S. Forest Service was sending firefighters into those areas, which have become the northern edge of the blaze. Mandatory evacuations were in effect in La Caņada Flintridge, Pasadena, La Crescenta, Altadena, Glendale and Big Tujunga Canyon.

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Mt. Wilson road
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Mt. Wilson road, closed since '05, is about to reopen
Work clearing debris from rain-triggered landslides may be completed this weekend on the popular hiking route above Pasadena.

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Mount Wilson telescope
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Mount Wilson telescope turns 100
It's been a century since the Mount Wilson Observatory arose almost 6,000 feet above Pasadena. Cutting-edge astronomy happened there before technology, development, and environmental changes made its original 60-inch telescope a relic. Southern Californians can still use it to sample the stars.

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The giant 60-inch telescope that ushered in the modern age of cosmic exploration, marked its 100th anniversary Wednesday in celebrations at Mount Wilson Observatory.
When it was built in 1908, the brainchild of George Ellery Hale, the revolutionary telescope was the largest in the world and the first to explore rather than map the universe.

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Five-thousand feet above Pasadena, a small group of USC researchers and graduate students celebrated a milestone last week: the 100th anniversary of Mount Wilson's solar telescope.
That wasn't all they were celebrating, however.
In June 1908, just months after the telescope's completion, George Ellery Hale, the astronomer responsible for the device's creation, made a critical discovery - the surface of the sun has magnetic fields, just like Earth.

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Up the long and winding Angeles Crest Highway, past a thicket of tall television antennas, sits what David Jurasevich calls "a monument to astronomy."
"So many important discoveries about our universe - they all started right there," Jurasevich says, pointing to a domed white building on Mount Wilson's sunny peak.
Inside is a 100-ton treasure - the telescope which, it could be said, helped astronomers discover the very origin of the universe.

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Mount Wilson Observatory

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