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SOLD OUT - Mount Wilson Observatory Experience
July 6th, 2018 to July 7th, 2018 6:00pm
Register Now


Join FOTO for a private, members-only evening at Mt. Wilson Observatory (MWO).


We start with an expert-led sunset walking tour of historic solar telescopes, the 100-inch Hooker Telescope, and the CHARA array.


Then we spend the evening viewing through the historic 60-inch telescope with trained astronomers (weather permitting).


Images through the 60-inch telescope, credit Blake Estes. Right to left: Ring Nebula | Saturn | Cat's Eye Nebula


THE MWO'S HISTORIC 60-INCH TELESCOPE saw first light on December 8, 1908. At the time, it was the largest telescope in the world, but it is renowned for more than just its size; it represents an important change in astronomy -- the birth of astrophysics and the quest to understand the origin and evolution of stars. It is regarded as the first modern telescope and one of the most productive telescopes ever. Now it is one of the largest telescopes in the world made routinely available for public viewing. Click here to learn more about MWO's historic 60-inch telescope.


This is a very popular FOTO opportunity for members and the telescope dome can only accommodate 25 visitors total. This year, members may register for four tickets maximum per membership. This should sell out quickly, register early!


The cost is $130.00 per person and includes a tour and telescope viewing with knowledgeable and entertaining astronomers, plus snacks, beverages, and parking.


All participants are expected to arrive at Mt. Wilson Observatory’s front gate by the designated start time for the observatory tour. Click here to open instructions on how to get to the Mt. Wilson Observatory. The tour is roughly two hours long and the viewing session at the 60-inch telescope begins around sunset. The evening ends at 1:00 a.m. and participants may leave early if they wish.



  • Reservations available only for guests 12 years and older.
  • No Handicapped Access: The dome was built in 1908 and is not ADA-compliant, offering no access for those who cannot climb stairs and ladders.
  • During the viewing session, a restroom is located inside the dome, on ground level, two flights of stairs below the telescope viewing area. Visiting is not suggested for those with respiratory or heart problems due to the stairs and the 5700-ft elevation.
  • Cancellation: This event's success is dependent upon several factors that are out of our control, including weather and wildfires. Although unlikely, it is possible that we could be required to reschedule or cancel the evening. Only if Mt. Wilson Observatory cancels or reschedules our visit are refunds available.


For questions, connect with us via or call (213) 473-0879.


Top banner image: MWO's 60-inch telescope in red light, credit Babak Tafreshi

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