Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Observatory Nights: Rio Hondo College

The Gordon D. Crowell Astrophysical Observatory at Rio Hondo College is open for free public observation on selected Friday nights throughout the year.
After a moderate 1/2 mile hike to the observatory, a staff member will explain what is visible in the night sky, and allow visitors to look through a 14" telescope.



I took a group of Girl Scouts to one of the observatory nights in 2016. A couple of the Girl Scout moms had to stop and catch their breath while hiking up the road to the observatory as the paved road is quite steep. Overall we had a good time, but a large crowd made for long lines at the telescope.
Note: Near the end of the Rio Hondo college semester the event is usually heavily attended because Astronomy students are given extra credit for attending. If you want to experience this telescope with your family I suggest attending early in the college semester to avoid larger crowds and bringing a flashlight to double check for potholes in the road on the way up.



1 comment:

  1. Please do note that if you get to the parking lot early to be the first to get in line it's not going to happen . . . Why is that? Well the person in charge will not open the gate at the bottom till 10 minutes AFTER the opening time. When I went there on 10/13/17, at 6:45pm for the 7:00 pm opening time, there were 19 people standing around for the gate to be opened. he made us wait till 7:11pm. So its "Hurry up and wait" scheme. It is a long 1/2 mile steep climb & you will be huffing and puffing if you want to be up there first. Bring a flashlight too. The view of the city lights is very nice. There were about 45 people on that night so it took about 40 minutes to cycle to see a different sky object through the telescope. Roy N. 11/24/2017

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