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The longest day of the year Jun 21

Well, they’re all 24 hours long (yuk yuk), but today is the summer solstice, the day with the most sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a good day to visit an observatory.

How about the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC? It’s not so important scientifically any more, what with all the city lights shining up the sky, and all the bigger telescopes elsewhere, but here is where the US keeps track of what time it is. The atomic clock on this site is the official time for the US in general and the Department of Defense in particular. ┬áLots more goes on there, too. Publications, scientific meetings, software, reference material, astrometry (look it up), and tours, to name a few. I refer to tours cautiously. Tours are infrequent and a bit hard to participate in, but worth it if you can swing it. Tours are in the evening and at night, which makes sense for an observatory. Here are their tour guidelines. It’s an actual military base, so tours and such can be canceled pretty much without warning. Photos were hard to find, so here’s a satellite view of the place. Appropriate, I suppose.

Screen shot from Google Maps

Yes, you’ll find all sorts of things to see in DC. Be one of the envied few who took in the Naval Observatory!

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Category: Adventure
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