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Take a tour of Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County. Palomar is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by Caltech. The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope. Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions.
Conceived of almost a hundred years ago, Palomar Observatory has been at the forefront of astronomical research since mid-century. Today, the Observatory operates every clear night and is an iconic facility for scientific advancement, instrument development, and student training.
It is a quarter mile walk slightly up hill from the Visitor Center to the dome. There are two flights of stairs in the dome. The Observatory is located at an elevation of 5,550 feet.
Cell coverage on the mountain is quite limited and there are no gas stations.
There are circumstances that may cause a cancellation: bad weather, an insufficient number of volunteer docents, a change in the operating schedule. If any such issue should arise, I will let you know by email at the earliest moment.
Caltech has set a limit of 30 people per tour.