Walking on the Moon…

 

The Great Beyond By Desiree

The Great Beyond
By Desiree

Space, the final frontier, or is it? That is what the team at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, work hard to find out.

This particular observatory is one of my most memorable and favorite places in the world, not just as a kid on a field trip but even now. Palomar Mountain was just a stones throw away from my childhood home. My family would occasionally set out in our sturdy ol’ Astro van to get out and enjoy the open road and wide open spaces. The observatory is based on the top of Palomar Mountain, which is located off Route 76 in North County, San Diego, California. Yes it does seem in the middle of nowhere but that’s what makes it so magical! You are never sure of what you might encounter, maybe extreme motorcyclists, bobcats, thunder clouds, field tripping school kids or even some extraterrestrials. Once you have found the remote location, the parking lot is quiet & never crowded, unless a famous Comet is in town, then you may be in a bit of a pickle. From the parking lot, the side walk leads you right to the steps to its very doors. My favorite is the walk to the Observatory, when you curve around the bend and there, like a bright full moon, the observatory sits over a tiny field and a grouping of trees in a quiet calm.

The Observatory was established in 1928 and is privately owned by Caltech. The Palomar Observatory is still in use to this day and the doors are always open daily from 9-3p.m. for areas where the public can go and explore on their own. For guided tours, you can see the 200-inch Hale Telescope dome on Saturday and Sunday from April through October. If your passion is to infinity and beyond, they offer behind the scenes tours through the community support group, “Friends of Palomar”.  The Hale Telescope has been operating since 1948 and for 45 years, was the largest telescope in the world.

So if you’re an Alien enthusiast, love to gaze at the stars or just a little out of this world…you don’t need a spaceship, just a quaint little jaunt through the San Diego countryside in a beautiful convertible, or a mini van like I use to, and check out what can take you light years away.

 

*Fun Fact:

If you ever read Calvin & Hobbes as I did…Calvin has a dream where Stupendous Man takes the lens from the Palomar Observatory telescope and uses it to destroy his school.

 

*For More fun facts and info visit:

http://www.astro.caltech.edu/research/palomar/

 

 

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