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Friday September 20th 2002

Featured Speaker

Mike Simmons
Vice President, Mount Wilson Observing Association

The History of the Mount Wilson Observatories

Mike Simmons developed an interest in astronomy and space exploration at a very early age, excitedly watching the "Space Age" unfold during the 1950's and 1960's. Following an adolescent hiatus from astronomy, his interest was rekindled as a young adult when he could afford the toys of the hobby. Finally an active amateur astronomer in the 1970's, he joined the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and served as the society's president, vice president and just about everything else throughout the decade. As an operator of the 12-inch Zeiss refractor at Griffith

Observatory, he loved bringing astronomy to other excited youngsters of all ages. He later served as the president of the Mount Wilson Observatory Association several times -- an organization he helped found to support the observatory's efforts to welcome its many public visitors -- and he remains involved at Mount Wilson over 20 years later. He has combined his interests in travel, history, diverse cultures and nature on trips to total solar eclipses and he remains in touch with newfound astronomy friends in far away places. Though Mike majored in astronomy at UCLA he migrated into research at the UCLA Medical Center where he could better support his young family. Now with an empty nest, Mike and his wife Sherri live on a small lake in a rural area just outside the big city and bright lights of Los Angeles.

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