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Monday, August 31, 2009

'Station' fire threatens historic Mount Wilson Observatory

The 'Station' fire that has threatened much of the Angeles National Forest just north of Los Angeles is closing in on the Mount Wilson Observatory, and is expected to reach the facility in the next few hours.

The observatory was built in 1904 by famed George Hale, and was home to many important astronomical discoveries of the 20th century, including Edwin Hubble's research into the Big Bang theory. The observatory, now used by students from UCLA and other Los Angeles universities, continues to be used for research. The Mt. Wilson Observatory is considered the most prominent and historic observatory on the West Coast, if not the entire United States.

Firefighters have evacuated the area as of last night, after clearing brush and using preventative fires to stem the flow of the fire. The observatory's survival, and that of a large quantity of television and radio transmitters nearby, rests solely on helicopter and plane relief.

In 1956, Tom Graeff filmed the opening of his film Teenagers from Outer Space at the observatory. Max Mayer's 2009 feature, Adam, partially takes place at the observatory.

Keep up with the Mount Wilson firefighting efforts here, thanks to the LA Times.

Though the connection is spotty, watch the Mount Wilson webcam here, courtesty of UCLA.

0 gargon specimens:

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