Mount Wilson Observatory Situation Improving

Mount Wilson Observatory Situation Improving

UPDATE: 6:30 PM EDT, Wednesday, September 2

According to the Associated Press, Mt. Wilson isn’t out of the woods yet, but the situation is improving. Observatory Director McAlister continues to post updates, but the web address has changed again. Currently they are being posted at The UCLA Towercam is not operating any longer, apparently a victim of severed lines when a backfire was lit yesterday. Dr. McAlister sounds increasingly optimistic about the situation and draws attention to an interesting op-ed by Tim Rutten that appeared in the LATimes this morning.

UPDATE: 8:00 PM EDT, Tuesday, September 1

Firefighters had a comparatively successful day fighting the fire and it is now 22% contained and growing at a slower rate. The LATimes is reporting that Mt. Wilson remains in danger, however. Observatory director McAlister has switched to the alternate server mentioned in his message above. Go to for his updates. Earlier today he was expressing guarded optimism based on the reports he was receiving

Original post, September 1 am

A photo from UCLA’s Towercam taken this morning (Tuesday, September 1) shows the fire near the Mount Wilson Observatory. Meanwhile, Hal McAlister, Director of the Observatory, has been posting updates on the observatory’s website. The most recent is from yesterday, August 31, at 5:30 pm PDT:

“Monday, 31 Aug 09, 5:30 pm PDT – As I mentioned earlier, we have lost the new backup power to the mountain. In anticipation of a possible loss of all power to the Observatory, where the MWO webserver is located, this update site will be relocated to I will continue posting material on the current server, but if and when it goes dark, please make a note now to try the other URL if you are interested in keeping in touch with this situation from our perspective. In this event, the Towercam will also go dark. In the meantime, please keep coming to this site.”

The LATimes has an article this morning outlining the observatory’s scientific achievements to date.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.