Located near the peak of Palomar Mountain (6,126ft), this observatory-owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena-boasts the celebrated Hale Telescope. With its 200in Pyrex lens, it has a range surpassing 1 billion light-years. In the domed observatory structure, an observation level allows glimpses of the scope itself-a huge tubelike truss with the mirrored lens at one end and an astronomer's viewing cage at the other. An adjacent gallery explains the development and use of the telescope, as demonstrated by stunning photographs of Milky Way stars, distant galaxies, quasars, nebulae and other celestial wonders. Sweeping terrestrial panoramas may be seen from the access road leading to the observatory.