How to bask in the sun's light? Step outside, is the no-frills, forever-true answer. But if you prefer your sunbeams with a twist, and a hefty dose of art and enchantment, best find your way to a trio of Pasadena spots or Griffith Observatory.
For Mt. Wilson is marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of George Ellery Hale, the founder of the mountain-high observatory, in a host of memorable ways, from sound installations to art that harnesses the sun's awesome power.
We just tipped our (sun)hat there when we referenced "Sunstar," a tech-cool artwork that's described as "a large-scale daytime 'spectroheliostat' art installation beaming from Mt. Wilson." Astrophysicist John Vallerga and artist Liliane Lijn partnered on the intriguing creation, a piece that projects a "... beam of diffracted sunlight (onto) the Los Angeles landscape, making the solar spectrum visible at specific locations, in the form of a prismatic star."
Way, way cool? Totally. "Subject to sunshine" is, of course, the disclaimer, but if you want to see "Sunstar" in action, it's all shimmering on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 at specific times and specific places.
Head for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden from 11-noon and 3-4 p.m., Caltech (please avoid the lawn north of the Athenaeum Club and note that there is no on-campus parking) from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 4 to 5 p.m., Pasadena Civic Center, just in front of City Hall from 1 to 2 p.m. and 5 to 6 p.m., and the main lawn at Griffith Observatory from 2 to 3 p.m. and from 6 o'clock through to sunset if you want to see all of this beam-tastic wonder in action.
How were these locations selected? They all mattered in the life and work of George Ellery Hale, a visionary who did so much in the field of solar astronomy.