Hear Tunes Inside Mt. Wilson's 100-Inch Telescope Dome

It's an astronomically wonderful spot to enjoy live music, all summer long.

What to Know

  • Begins Sunday, May 6 and runs on select summer Sundays
  • $50
  • Final 2018 concert is Oct. 8

The majestic progression of the planets, moons, and cosmic forms?

Such magical (but ultimately mathematical) movements have often been poetically hailed as the "Music of the Spheres," though whether some distant moon is bathed in sound as it slowly rotates is known only to the moon itself.

And yet sound can spring up in the most sprightly fashion, right here on this planet, in the most astronomically awesome of locations.

Take Mount Wilson Observatory, for example, the longtime home to those who look deeply into some of the deepest reaches of space. The mountaintop landmark has become a place to enjoy music in the past, and that will continue, in the spring and summer of 2018, when the Sunday Afternoon Concerts in the Dome series returns for its second season.

The "Dome" in the title is indeed the famous 100-inch telescope dome found within the famous structure, which makes for an unusual and memorable concert hall.

Both for the understandably sweet acoustics that come from hearing classical tunes within a dome, yes, but also the fact that you'll be enjoying great and moving compositions near a device that can peer into some rather distant corners of the cosmos.

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The first show is on Sunday, May 6, and a ticket is $50. Other shows will follow, on select Sundays, into October.

The beneficiary? It's the Mount Wilson Institute.

There are two afternoon performances scheduled for May 6, and a "(p)ost-concert reception" will follow. So, yes: You can return home, wherever home in Southern California might be, before night falls and the stars are again shining above (the very stars that 100-inch telescope just might be looking at).

As for other epic doings coming to this especially epic spot, which is located in the San Gabriel Mountains, not too far from Pasadena?

A lecture in honor of the 150th birthday of George Ellery Hale, the observatory's founder, is set for late June, as well as stargazing nights, a 5K run, and a host of tour-y, info-packed happenings.

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