Saturday, April 14, 2012

Griffith Park

Today we felt like doing something different than the usual.  It's been a while since we've been up to visit the Griffith Park Observatory, so us and the Bakers headed up to do dinner then head to the observatory.
After sitting in LA traffic for over an hour, we made it to the Sidewalk Grill, a place Theresa found on Yelp.  The food was great!  Probably better even than Daphnes, which is our normal Greek food place.  The tomato soup was fantastic, the meat skewers were tasty, and everything else was great too.

After dinner, we headed to the observatory.  We got there right at dusk, so of course we had to get some photos overlooking Los Angeles.

The sky was still light, but you could still see some of the brighter stars and planets.  We saw the main telescope on the rooftop was pointed at Venus and decided to head up to see that.  There's some great views of the city from up here. 

I also got to play with some of my new camera gear!  Along with a new tripod, I got a panoramic head for the tripod that lets me swivel the camera, stitch the photos together and make massive photos for printing huge.  The picture below is 12000 pixels by 5200 pixels.  Not bad considering most point and shoots are 2800 x 2000. 

There was quite a line to see the big telescope.  From the timestamps on my photos it took 45 minutes from getting in line to getting into the building.  

Sure enough, once we got inside, the screen showed we were going to be looking at Venus.

But... when we got inside the door, the lights turned on and they said they were going to turn it to look at Saturn instead!  Cool!  That couldn't have been timed any better.  The lights all came on and we got to see them spin the telescope and rotate the top of the building.  

Then the lights went out again and we were excited to see Saturn.  

Saturn!  Unfortunately this isn't quite what we saw.

It was more like this.  

Afterwards we went out to check out the beautiful view of the cityscape.  

 Then we headed out to the main lawn and looked through a few of the lawn telescopes.  We saw Saturn again as well as the North Star. 

A fun night!

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