Owens Valley Radio Observatory Trip

Posted On June 6, 2023



June 23-25, 2023

With Dr. Mark Hodges and

Dr. Doug Millar and Cecilia Caballero, MA



Please join with us on the above date for an extraordinary adventure in science education at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory outside of Big Pine, CA. Included are science demonstrations at the 40m radio telescope and a tour, walking a scale model of the Solar System, solar astronomy, and night time astronomy. We will also make ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

This year we are emphasizing the DSA projects that are being built at OVRO. (See the OVRO website for more info: http://www.ovro.caltech.edu

If you want to come on Friday, we will have an evening of astronomy to the south of Building #10 at the west end of the observatory. You can bring your own telescope and there will be a number of telescopes set up to share their views. 120V AC is available. We will also do astronomy on Saturday night. The main program will be on Saturday afternoon, starting in the dining area in Building #10. We will go to the Pizza Factory in Bishop for dinner.

All the above is free and courtesy of Dr. Mark Hodges, OVRO, and Caltech. This trip is open to teachers, students with their families, members of local astronomy clubs, and radio hams. You must RSVP to go on the trip to Dr. Millar so that we know how many to expect (contact information below).  Please also forward your cell phone number.

This is not a school or OCA sponsored event. Everyone is on their own for transportation and lodging. You have many options. You can stay at a motel nearby, camp in a campground, bring a tent or trailer and stay at the OVRO site. If you decide to camp at OVRO, you must provide your own bathroom, as the buildings will be locked. There are places to eat in Big Pine and Bishop.

Please arrive at OVRO by 1:00 PM on Saturday for the program.

The weather will be warm and dry. Evenings will be a little cooler, so dress accordingly for the nighttime astronomy.





Setup telescopes to the south of building #10 for astronomy by sunset. 110v AC, bathroom and coffee and water available.


1:00pm: arrive at kitchen in building #10 for start of program and tour.

5pm: check in at your Motel (if not already checked in) and go to dinner in Bishop.

Evening- Astronomy at the site


A lot of us like to gather for breakfast about 9:30 at one of the local restaurants.  More information will be available on Saturday.

Leave whenever you like. Check websites about the area and the Highway 395 for sightseeing opportunities.


The directions from the LA area are: Drive north on the 5/14 through Palmdale and Mojave. Continue past Inyokern and join 395. Continue on North through Little Lake, Lone Pine and Independence. Continue through Big Pine. Just as you get to the end of town turn right on Highway 168 towards the Westgard Pass. Go about 2 miles and turn left onto Leighton Lane, the observatory road. You should be able to see the 40m dish in the distance, but it is 4 miles away! Continue through the gate onto the property and follow the blacktop road. Go past two 90-foot telescopes to the west end of the site and park. Below is a more detailed map. The observatory address is: 100 Leighton Lane, Big Pine, CA.


If you would like to bring your own telescope, please do so. If you have a telescope and don’t know how to use it, please bring it as there will be people to show you how to properly set up and use the telescope.


For any questions and RSVP’s my contact information is

Dr. Doug Millar   Cell- 562-810-3989 and email is drzarkof56@yahoo.com


Thank you and I hope to see you on the trip!

            Dr. Millar


Local Directions to the observatory:

n.b. The large pine tree no longer exists.


Here are some pictures from past visits.

Students lined up in front of one of the two 90ft. dishes

Our main dish to explore is the middle one at 40m in diameter.

Ex CARMA Array dishes at the site.

Experimenting with liquid nitrogen. Dr. Mark Hodges from OVRO and Dr. Millar

Astronomers setting up.

Getting set up for night time astronomy. Lots of great telescopes.