Celebrating 75 Years of Discovery

The Visitors Gallery

The Visitors Gallery at observation level in the Hale Telescope dome. (Palomar/Caltech)

Truck wheels on which the dome rolls as seen through a window in the Visitors Gallery. (Palomar/Caltech)

During visiting hours, the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope can be seen from the Visitors Gallery. The gallery is accessible from the northeast dome entrance at the end of the visitor path, and up the stairway. The gallery includes a full-length window area providing a direct view of the telescope from the observing floor. Displays along the window describe the telescope's major components and foci, how the telescope moves to find an object and track it through the night, the structure of the 200-inch primary mirror, and the path light follows inside the telescope. On weekends, an Observatory docent is often stationed in the Gallery to answer visitor questions.

Displays along the Gallery walls feature information, images, and recent scientific developments by other Palomar Observatory telescopes, as well as a short biography and sketches of the multi-talented telescope maker and technical illustrator Russell W. Porter.

Near the Porter exhibit, a small window shows two of the truck wheels upon which the dome rolls.

At the north end of the Gallery, a computer monitor displays descriptions of the current research programs being conducted using the Hale Telescope. These descriptions include astronomer name, affiliation, observing dates, instrument, and research summary. Find out what is being observed tonight with the Hale Telescope.

The Gallery is open during the Observatory's regular visiting hours. Please note that access to the Gallery requires climbing 70 steps from the ground level in addition to the walk from the Visitor Center to the dome. See Visiting Palomar for details. Wheelchair access to the Gallery and the Hale Telescope dome is not available.

For a 360° view of the Gallery, please visit our virtual tour page.

Questions? We've answered many common visiting, media, and academic questions in our public FAQ page.
Please share your feedback on this page at the COO Feedback portal.

Visitors Gallery / v 1.0.1
Last updated: 26 March 2019 ACM