Griffith Observatory - the most important information
Griffith Observatory is an observatory on the slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. It is popular among tourists because it offers an amazing view of Los Angeles.
About Griffith Observatory
The observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium were built thanks to the funds that Griffith J. Griffith donated to the City of Los Angeles, along with the land surrounding the observatory. The construction began in 1933 and the observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public in 1935. The observatory was renovated and expanded between 2002 and 2006. Griffith Observatory is elevated 346 meters and it was designed by architect John C. Austin based on preliminary sketches by Russell W. Porter. The planetarium was used in the 1960s to train Apollo program astronauts for the first lunar missions. The first exhibit at the observatory was the Foucault pendulum in 1935, which demonstrated the rotation of the Earth.
What to see at Griffith Observatory?
There are Planetarium shows at the observatory eight times a day on weekdays and ten times a day on weekends. There is also free public telescope viewing every night the observatory is open, as well as exhibits both inside and outside. Here are some of the highlights of the Griffith Observatory:
- Tesla Coil - this definitely one of the most memorable and iconic exhibits of the observatory. It has been restored and there are daily demonstrations of how it works.
- Public Telescopes - Griffith J. Griffith wanted people to be able to look through a telescope because he thought it might broaden their perspective. That’s why there are telescopes at the observatory through which everyone can look, for free. You can look through Zeiss Telescopes and Coelostat & Solar Telescopes.
- Wilder Hall of the Eye - in this exhibition you will see how the human observation of the sky progressed through time and what tools did they use before. You will be able to see key developments, astronomical instruments, and the impact they had on the progress of the observations.
- Cosmic Connection - in this exhibit you will be able to see The Sparkling Ribbon of Time, how everything is connected through points in time: The Big Bang, The Curtain of Light, The First Candles in the Darkness, The Milky Way Galaxy, Threads, and Ribbons, Lights Full On, Making a Neighborhood, Impacts Call It an Era, Getting a Life, Hard Bodies, High Plains Drifters, Bright Young Stars, Rocking the Cradle, Distant Ancestors, and Our Cosmic Connection.
- Exterior Exhibits - you can observe the movement of the Sun and Moon on the grounds of the Observatory, as well as walk a scale model of the solar system. There are also monuments that celebrate astronomers and the terraces from which you can see Los Angeles, Griffith Park, Mt. Wilson, the Pacific Ocean, and the Hollywood Sign.
Tickets and opening hours of Griffith Observatory
- Tickets - there is no entry fee for the Observatory.
- Opening hours - the Observatory is open on Fridays from 12 pm to 10 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 10 pm. It is closed from Monday to Thursday.
How to get to Griffith Observatory?
There is a daily low-cost DASH Observatory/Los Feliz public bus service that operates from 10 am to 10 pm. It operates from the Vermont/Sunset Metro Red Line station to the Observatory.
What should you know before visiting Griffith Observatory?
Here are the things you should know before visiting Griffith Observatory:
- Guidelines for inside - food, drinks, alcohol, balloons, skateboards, scooters, and other similar items, and animals are not permitted inside. You also need to behave properly - no running, jumping, and disruptive behavior. Note that cafe seating is for paying cafe customers.
- Guidelines for outside - alcohol is not allowed on the Observatory grounds and in all other areas of Griffith Park. Skateboards, scooters, bikes, and other similar items are not allowed. You also can’t fly any kind of drone or remote-control aircraft, as well as any kind of kite.