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Ten great observatories in the West: Mt. Wilson in Southern California

Mount Wilson Observatory Although visitors can tour the observatory on a daily basis from April 1 to Nov. 30, you must make a reservation and pay a fee in order to peek through the 60-inch reflecting telescope (measured by the diameter of the mirror that reflects the light from the stars to an eyepiece). Groups no bigger than 25 can reserve the telescope from dawn to 1 a.m. at a cost of $800, or from dawn to dusk for $1,500. For more details, call (626) 440-9016 or go to the observatory's website. Visitors line up at the observatory, which houses a 60-inch telescope to gaze at the planets. Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times
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