Tuesday, December 17, 2013

the griffith observatory

rcg and i have had a running theme throughout our relationship -- the stars. our first date was under the stars, we got engaged under the stars, and we're constantly seeking out the darkest places to look at and enjoy the stars. so we both put the griffith observatory pretty high on the list of things to see while we were visiting los angeles.

the griffith observatory is a large white building with three black domes, and sits overlooking downtown la. it's another iconic la landmark and has been featured in over twenty movies and thirty tv shows. but it's so much more than a filming location -- it's great place to learn about the moon, the sun, the stars, planets, and space! plus, it's free!

when you first enter the observatory you're greeted overhead with a spectacular mural depicting creation stories from civilizations around the world and a large pendulum swinging with the earth's rotation. and on either side of the rotunda there are amazing, informational exhibits. to the left are exhibits about how we've observed the sky throughout the years, including neat exhibits featuring ancient tools and inventions. to the right are exhibits about the sun and the moon and each person's connection to these celestial objects. there are half a dozen mini exhibits about solar and lunar eclipses, the earth and the moon's rotation, seasons, and during the day you can also use the largest public solar telescope in the united states to look at the sun!


once you've explored the main floor, head downstairs for the main event: the gunther depths of space exhibit gallery. it's spectacular! it's so wonderful and educational that i didn't take any pictures because my mind was being blown a thousand times over. there are mini displays for each planet, with scales so you can see how much you'd weigh on that planet, and a super cool seismograph that not only measures the motion of the earth but also of the room. i jumped and made the seismograph jump! (i'm pretty proud of it, can you tell?)

and lastly, you must check out the view. day or night, the view of los angeles is amazing;
the whole city is spread out before you.

open from 12pm-10pm, tues-fri
and 10am-10pm, sat & sun
closed mondays