Palomar Observatory is part of the California Institute of Technology, the well-known private educational and research institution located in Pasadena, California.? The Hale Telescope's mirror was cast at the Corning Glass Works in 1934 and then brought to California by rail for polishing and grinding.? Construction of its home on the top of Palomar Mountain was nearly finished in 1941 when World War II caused work to stop both on the building and the mirror.? Work resumed after the war and the mirror made its two-day journey up the mountain in November of 1947.?
The Hale Telescope has been used almost every clear night since 1948 and has made a number of astonishing discoveries.? The scope of its work includes studies of asteroids and comets in this solar system; stars that comprise the Milky Way Galaxy; and other galaxies and quasars far beyond the stars in earth's night sky.
The equipment is constantly being updated and continues to do valuable research.? Visitors to the Observatory can see the big telescope and visit a museum that shows many of the projects worked on by the telescopes.? There is also a small gift shop.? The drive up the mountain is beautiful with many breathtaking views of the valleys and hills.
The observatory was located in the San Diego backcountry originally because there was very little light pollution to interfere with its work.? Today with the growth of San Diego and the urbanization of the backcountry, city glow has become a major issue for the telescopes.? Eventually this may decrease the effectiveness of the observatory.?