It is one of the largest astronomical observatories in the US, founded in 1904 by the great astrophysicist George Hellery Hale (1868-1938).
It rises 32 km, to the North-East of Los Angeles, at an altitude of 1,740 m. and it is equipped with a main instrument with a 254 cm mirror. in diameter, called the Hooken telescope, in honor of the Californian tycoon John D. Hooker who, in 1906, donated the $ 45,000 needed for its construction. Other important instruments are two solar towers 18 and 46 meters high and a reflector of 150 m.
In the 1930s, due to the expansion of Los AngeIes and the air pollution produced by this city, the observatory entered into a progressive crisis, so it became necessary to project and build another great observatory further south, that of Monte Palomar, a work to which Hale himself dedicated himself until his death.
Both observatories have been meeting since 1970 in an astronomical research organization run by the California Institute of Technology and take the name of Hale Observatories, in honor of its founder.
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