Projects‎ > ‎(2) Field Trip Guides‎ > ‎

Mount Wilson Observatory (Herr)

Reviewed by: Include your name and qualifications.  For example, Isaac Newton, physics and astronomy teacher at Planetary High School. 

Location: Please include the address (or directions if it is a field site), GPS coordinates, and a link to Google Map. 

Description:  Please provide a paragraph description of the field trip.  Include a physical description of the site, explanation of ownership/management, mission (if an institution), history, access, and other relevant issues. 

Audience: Who should take a field trip to this location and why?  Be specific and explain how a particular student or teacher might benefit.  For example, 
  • A physics teacher would benefit visiting the Mount Wilson Observatory because they could witness practical examples of interferometry at the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), and reflective optics (Hooker and Hale telescopes). 
  • An environmental science teacher would benefit by a visit to Mount Wilson because it provides local examples of chaparral and mixed coniferous forests, air and light pollution, inversion layers, mountain building (transverse ranges), earthquake faults (San Gabriel fault), rock cycles, and many other phenomenon.
Science Concepts Addressed: Give examples of specific science concepts that may be addressed by visitng the field trip site and explain how they are addressed.  For example, the following science concepts can be addressed by a field trip to the Mount Wilson Observatory.
  • Reflector telescopes: Mount Wilson Observatory manages th 60" Hale Telescope and the famous 100" Hooker telescope.
  • Speed of light: The speed of light was calculated by an experiment conducted atop Mt. Wilson by Michelson.
  • Solar activity:  The solar telescopes study helioseismmology and changes in the sun's nature.
  • Expanding universe:  Edwin Hubble proposed that the universe is expanding by discovering redshift when viewing through the Hooker telescope.
  • Galaxies, nebula, etc:  Many of these have been discovered or characterized by astronomers working at the Mount Wilson Observatories.
  • Biomes and Ecosystems:  One travels through chaparral and mixed coniferous forests when traveling to Mount Wilson.
Study Guide:  Develop a study guide that could be used by students visiting this site. The study guide should be very clear and address specific science concepts.  The study guide should include the following:
Informational map: A simple map of the field trip site with key features labeled.
  • Tasks:  At least three tasks for the students to perform while at the field trip site. 
  • Observations:  A minimum of 10 observational (factula) questions that could only be answered hat can only be answered if the students has visited the site. 
  • Higher Order Questions / Activities:  A minimum of 3 higher order questions or activities that can only be answered if the students has visited the site. 
  • Photos:  Photos that will help orient the visitor to the site. Post photos on the photo album and use their urls to insert them here. 
  • Post the study guide as a pdf attachment to this website. Copy the text and include it in the study guide section.
Photographs:  Include a minimum of four good, unique photographs that highlight iscience concepts listed above. 

For additional information:  Include links to websites and books that would be of assistance to those interested in learning more about this field trip location. Use APA style for books. For website links, type the name of the resource and hyperlink the name (don't just paste the url as text).