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Mount Wilson Observatory

Tour a 150-foot solar tower overlooking Los Angeles at Mount Wilson Observatory, a facility dedicated to the continued study of astronomy and solar observations.

The observatory was founded by George Ellery Hale in 1904. It is known for its vast collection of historic 60-inch telescopes that are able to capture stunning views of star clusters and the wonders of the galaxy.

Solar observer Steven Padilla has worked at Mount Wilson Observatory since 1985. But over the past few years, there was been a dramatic shortage of researchers due to the lack of funding for research, which means he was cut, too.

Padilla is an expert at drawing sunspots, which he says are much cooler than the visible parts of the sun. On his last working day at the observatory, Padilla shares with us some of his most detailed sunspot drawings and telescopes that have been in operation since 1912.

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