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Mt. Wilson is located in the San Gabriel Mountains 25 miles northeast of downtown at an altitude of 5700 ft. The air at the peak is steadier on average than at any other location in North America, making it useful for viewing the night sky without disturbances. In 1908 a 100’ solar tower telescope was constructed on Mt Wilson, followed by the world's first 150’ solar telescope in 1912 and a 100” telescope in 1917. The observatory was credited with discovering that the sun is not at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and has been called the most important observatory of the 20th Century. With the growth of Los Angeles light pollution has limited much of the deep space viewing, but the original telescopes remain in use today.

Following WWII Mount Wilson adopted a new function, its location centered above the city made it particularly useful for the wide transmission of television and radio to the city. Today it is known as one of the largest Antenna farms in the nation, home to over 25 FM and 20 television transmission facilities, as well as numerous AM, repeater and pager transmitters.