The observatory hosted the crew from the Ventura County Fire Department at its large telescope, bestowing them breathtaking views of our solar system.
The area was finally sufficiently smoke-free to host firefighters from @VCFD at the 60" telescope. We're pleased that we could thank them in some small way by treating them to views of Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, the Moon and others. We plan to do this with another group tonight. pic.twitter.com/dPB4r2N152— Mount Wilson Observatory (@MtWilsonObs) September 27, 2020
Those at the observatory said it was just a small way to thank firefighters for their valiant efforts in repeatedly defending the historic site from the flames.
Firefighters described the work they did and said backfires were set while taking advantage of reduced winds, lower temperatures and higher humidity to carve out a containment line after flames came within 500 feet of the landmark.
Mount Wilson Observatory played a key role in advancing 20th century astrophysics since it was founded in 1904. Mount Wilson is also home to an estimated $1 billion worth of transmission towers, a key site for TV, radio and government agencies.