Palomar Observatory, Palomar Mountain

#17 of 79 in Childrens Museums in California
Must see · Observatory · Museum
Palomar Observatory is an astronomical research observatory in San Diego County, California, United States, in the Palomar Mountain Range. It is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Research time at the observatory is granted to Caltech and its research partners, which include the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Yale University, and the National Optical Observatories of China.
The observatory operates several telescopes, including the 200-inch (5.1 m) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2 m) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the Palomar 60-inch (1.5-m) Telescope. In addition, other instruments and projects have been hosted at the observatory, such as the Palomar Testbed Interferometer and the historic 18-inch (0.46 m) Schmidt telescope, Palomar Observatory's first telescope, dating from 1936. As of 2021, the observatory also hosts the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) and Gattini-IR projects.

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
154 reviews
  • January 2020, in Palm Springs for a wedding, chose to make a week vacation with three days on the coast in Carlsbad and Oceanside. Drove hwy 74 up and over and told my wife we had to go up Palomar.....  more »
  • A great place to visit. We went on a Monday, very few visitors. You can get up close to the telescope but only thru glass. The history is laid out very well at the museum. The gift shop is small but.....  more »
  • Really fun and informative place to visit. There are campgrounds close by and this is a good day trip. The parking, museum and observatory close at 330pm
  • Great experience, they have docents that can explain all of the history and mechanics behind the observatory and telescope. I think they come out twice a day. Also if you just want to go and sing your little heart out the acoustics are great at the bottom level. My wife and sisters go there and it sounds amazing.

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