Published Nov 4, 2017 at 5:44 AM | Updated at 5:46 AM PDT on Nov 4, 2017
Mount Wilson is celebrating its 100th year of being home to the telescope that has provided the world with some of the most significant discoveries in astronomy.
The Mount Wilson Hooker telescope, which was recently threatened by a fire, is now ready for guests to come and celebrate its 100-year history.
"Things got scrambled a little bit last week as we had the Wilson fire," said Dan Kohne, a Mount Wilson Board of Trustees member."Everyone had to be evacuated.They're dropping in the water and those fire retardants. But it's always scary. You never know."
On Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, the observatory will be open to the public for the last of three events in celebration of the anniversary. Docents will be present to explain how the telescope revolutionized the understanding of the universe.
Workers and faculty members have been planning the anniversary celebration for a year. Once the fire was extinguished by responders, the observatory doors were reopened and guests were invited back in for an up close look.
"The telescope is historically and scientifically important to the science community and to the world," Mount Wilson's Executive Director, Thomas Meneghini said.
The Mountain's 100-inch Hooker telescope was the world's largest telescope from 1917, when it was completed, until 1948 when the Palomar 200-inch telescope was created.
According to the Mount Wilson Observatory, the Hooker Telescope contributed to revolutionized discoveries, including the discovery of the measured size of the Milky Way and Earth's position within it by American Astronomer Harlow Shapley. As well as the existence of other galaxies and evidence of the expansion of the universe both discovered by American Astronomer Edwin Hubble.
"The biggest breakthroughs of the last century that still define our cosmology today were discovered on this very telescope," Kohne said.
Food trucks and tours will be available for attendants. Guest speakers will include Sam Hale, Observatory Trustee and grandson of Mount Wilson Observatory Founder George Ellery Hale. Hale built four telescopes, each one in succession becoming the largest in the world.
Meneghini expressed that if the weather is appropriate, the domes will be open for public viewing during Saturday's event. The telescope will be moving in many directions to view different objects. Guests are encouraged to dress warmly.
"Fire suppression efforts used all of the available water on the mountain," said Meneghini. Due to no water supply, the cafe at the observatory is currently closed. Meneghini said they will be working week by week to get the issue resolved. The last weekend tours will be held on Saturday Nov. 25 and Sunday Nov. 26.
For more information on Saturday's event click here.