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Mount Wilson Observatory Launches Crowdfunding Campaign To Repair Damage From The Bobcat Fire

Firefighters work to protect a building at Mt. Wilson Observatory as the Bobcat Fire burns in the Angeles National Forest on September 17, 2020. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)
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The Mount Wilson Observatory is safe and relatively unscathed from the now smoldering Bobcat Fire.

At one point, flames were within a few feet of the historic complex, once home to some of the largest and most powerful telescopes in the world.

Even before the fire, the Mount Wilson Institute, the non-profit organization that manages the observatory, had to cancel all of its revenue generating events for the year because of COVID-19.

Now, the institute is asking the public for help, with a GoFundMe campaign.

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Tom Meneghini, the institute's executive director, told LAist that although there was no major structural damage to the observatory, the buildings stil need to be treated for smoke and paint damage.

The goal is to raise a million dollars to rejuvenate the complex, so it can be reopened to the public.

The so-called Supermoon, or perigee moon, rises behind the historic Mount Wilson Observatory on July 12, 2014 at Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles. (David McNew/Getty Images)

The Mt. Wilson Observatory houses 18 telescopes, many of which were used to make some of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the last century. They include the 100 inch Hooker telescope that Edwin Hubble used in the 1920s to prove that our universe is still expanding.

The GoFundMe has already raised over $15,000.

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