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FOTO Events & Registration

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See each event to find the registration form for the program of your choice. This is simple, green and completely safe. Note that some programs do not require registrations. Click here to see our event calendar month by month.

Public Star Party
August 18th, 2018 2:00pm - 9:45pm
Registration Not Required

Free public star parties are held monthly at Griffith Observatory from 2:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. with the assistance of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers and The Planetary Society They are a chance for the whole family to look at the Sun, Moon, visible planets, and other objects; to try out a variety of telescopes; and to talk to knowledgeable amateur astronomers about the sky and their equipment.

Please be aware that the astronomers and telescope demonstrators must cut off the line for each telescope to enable all viewing to be completed by 9:45 p.m. Hours for telescope operation are not the same as for the building (which closes at 10:00 p.m.).

Griffith Observatory does not permit the operation of private, unauthorized telescopes on its grounds, for either public or private use. The Observatory is responsible for the public safety of its visitors and for the accuracy of any information provided in an astronomical and public setting. Allowing deployment of private telescopes on the grounds implies endorsement of both the instruments and the operators, neither of which the Observatory is capable of verifying.

SOLD OUT - Mount Wilson Observatory Experience
August 18th, 2018 to August 19th, 2018 5:30pm
By Invitation Only

Join FOTO for a private, members-only evening at Mt. Wilson Observatory (MWO).




COSMIC MUSINGS - "The Soul of Psyche - Mission to the Heart of a Protoplanet"
August 20th, 2018 7:30pm

COSMIC MUSINGS series presented by United Airlines.



Do you ever wonder what the heart of a baby planet is like? NASA does too! Psyche is an orbiter mission now in development to visit the asteroid named Psyche, one of our solar system’s most unique objects. As far as scientists can tell by examining it from the Earth, it is a giant metal asteroid big enough to span the distance from Los Angeles to Tijuana... and it may be the now-exposed core of a proto planet (developing planet). Come hear the details from TRACY DRAIN, the mission’s Deputy Project Systems Engineer.


IMAGE ABOVE: A digital image of one of two NASA Discovery missions announced in early 2017. (Screenshot/NASA)



Tracy Drain
Flight Systems Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Deputy Project System Engineer, Psyche mission


Tracy Drain has worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech in 2000. In her 17 years at JPL, she has participated in the development and operation of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (a science and relay orbiter at Mars), the Kepler mission (searching for exoplanets) and the Juno mission to Jupiter. She is now the Deputy Project System Engineer for the Psyche mission, slated to launch in 2022. Tracy is passionate about space exploration and loves taking every opportunity to encourage students to consider pursuing exciting careers in STEM fields.


Check-in and the Café at the End of the Universe open at 6:00 p.m. The Observatory will be closed to the general public, and the only area/exhibits inside the building open to ticketed guests is in the immediate vicinity of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater. The presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater.



Reservations are required to access event parking and enter Griffith Observatory. In the case of sold-out shows, ticket sales will close. Non-wait list tickets not picked up by 7:40 p.m. will be made available to wait-listed guests. The event wait list may be joined by emailing, including the number of seats requested and a full name for the reservation. Wait list tickets are sold at the door, cash (exact change) only. No refunds are available. All registration closes August 20, 4:00 p.m.

If your membership has lapsed or you would like to become a FOTO member, renew or join easily on-line at For event or membership questions, please send an email to Marc at or call 213.473.0879.

All Space Considered
September 7th, 2018 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Registration Not Required

Griffith Observatory holds this exciting, FREE public program on the first Friday of every Month in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon. Join the Observatory's curatorial staff and occasional special guests as they examine and explain the most-talked-about subjects in astronomy and space science. Seating is first come, first served.
For the upcoming program's topics click HERE.

Cosmic Musings - RESCHEDULED TO 2019
September 17th, 2018 7:30pm
Registration Not Required

COSMIC MUSINGS presented by United Airlines.



Seeing Our Universe in New Ways - The Infrared Sky Reimagined

by Dr. Kimberly Ennico Smith, NASA Project Scientist


[more information to follow]


December 3rd, 2018
Registration Not Available Until 10/30/2018

FOTO Members Holiday Party


[more information to follow]

2019 Total Solar Eclipse - El Camino del Inca en Chile
June 29th, 2019 to July 4th, 2019

Friends Of The Observatory

invites you to join us for an unforgettable tour and total eclipse of the Sun in Santiago, Chile





  • Standing in the shadow of the Moon for 2 minutes and 8 seconds
  • A full-day eclipse excursion to La Serena for solar eclipse viewing near center line
  • Exclusive private use of Tololo Beach Restaurant during eclipse
  • Exclusive lectures and excursions with Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director, Griffith Observatory
  • Visiting Valparaiso (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Viña del Mar, and the Santa Rita Winery for wine tasting
  • A farewell night experience at the Andean Astronomical Observatory
  • And more...



Special Post-eclipse Galápagos Islands Trip

July 4, 2019 - July 14, 2019

Join us after the El Camino del Inca en Chile Eclipse for yet another once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Discover the exotic beauty and adventure of the Galápagos Islands on a 10-night land-and-cruise excursion.



MS Xpedition Celebrity Cruises


Reserving with us is the only way to be included in the exclusive FOTO programs.


For more information or to book your trip, please contact our cruise specialists, Melissa Truskett, Jannette Dilley, and Nancy Bland at Montrose Travel: 818.553.3200.


Questions? Contact us at or call 213.473.0879.

Events and Registration
2018-08-18: Public Star Party 2018-08-18
2018-08-18: FOTO Mount Wilson Observatory Experience 2018-08
2018-08-20: Cosmic Musings 2018-08-20 - The Soul of Psyche
...and more! click here
Your Contributions at Work

School Visit Program for 30,000 students per year

New projector for the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater

Support excellence at Griffith Observatory with your donations to FOTO

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FOTO Newsletter and Blog

Back issues of FOTO's newsletter

Current issue for members

Stay updated with all the latest about FOTO and Griffith Observatory

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Visiting Griffith Observatory

Print self-guided tours

Interested in a show?

How do I look through a telescope?

Exclusive members-only opportunities!

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Looking up! Astronomy at Home

What is up in the sky?

Print your own star chart

Astronomy Experiments at Home

Turn your computer into a telescope

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