It is almost April. That means that guided tours of the Hale Telescope will soon be here. Weather permitting, they should begin this weekend. Do keep in mind that we are expecting snow on Palomar tonight & Thursday. There is always a chance that the weather could intervene with the tours. I will post an update on the weather & tour status here later in the week.
One thing for sure is that it will likely be in the 30s inside the dome as the interior of the 200-inch dome is kept at nighttime temperatures (for an elevation of 5,500 feet!). Dress accordingly.
These one-hour-long tours are held on Saturdays & Sundays only during the months of April through October. Tour tickets are sold in the gift shop the day of the tour on a first-come, first-served basis. The gift shop opens at 10:00 a.m. No prior reservations are taken.
Tours are offered at 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 per person for all ages. The tour is not recommended for children under six years of age. Sorry, no pets.
Tours cover the history and current scientific research of the Palomar Observatory, with a special emphasis on the 200-inch Hale Telescope. High-heeled shoes are not recommended for the tours.
Alas, there is no viewing through the Hale Telescope as a part of the tours. Even the astronomers do not look through the telescope. That isn't the way research is done.