ExploreExhibitsAhmanson Hall of the Sky

Ahmanson Hall of the Sky

The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth

The Ahmanson Hall of the Eye reveals how the Sun and Moon interact with Earth to shape the way our planet works.

Imagine a world without day or night, with no change of seasons or annual cycles. It wouldn’t be Earth, because the Sun and Moon dominate our sky and measure the march of time. Sunrise, sunset, and the passing of years and seasons – as well as the restless tides, monthly Moon phases, and awe-inspiring eclipses – occur because the Earth and Moon move in relation to the Sun and each other. The Sun is the most dynamic object in the sky. It warms our planet and makes life possible. As the closest star to Earth, it also offers us a glimpse into the nature of all stars.

Explore the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky

Solar Telescope Instruments (Coelostat)

Griffith Observatory’s triple-beam solar telescope brings three columns of sunlight into instruments in the west rotunda of the Ahmanson Hall of the Sky. On clear days, each of these telescopes provides a different real-time view of our local star, including sunspots, solar flares, and spectra.

Earth Day & NIght

Day & Night

A globe, a video projection, and synchronized clocks demonstrate why we experience day and night and how it varies with the seasons and your location.

Sun and Star Paths

Sun and Stars Path

A mini theater tracks the Sun’s path across the Los Angeles sky during each season and shows why the length of day changes during the year.

Earth's Tilt

Seasons

The Earth revolves around the Sun in an overhead model that reveals how our planet’s titled axis of rotation causes the seasons.

Moon phases

Moon Phases

From underneath an overhead moving model of the Moon’s orbit, you can see how the Moon’s phases depend on its position relative to the Sun.

Tide pool

Tides

A multimedia diorama illustrates the gravitational effects of the Sun and Moon on the Earth’s oceans, which causes the tides.

Eclipses

An overhead moving model of the Sun, Earth, and Moon shows why the inclined orbit of the Moon causes eclipses to occur, but not every month.

Star stages

Our Sun Is a Star

Our Sun is just one of dozes of stars of various types, sizes, and temperatures in a large wall display. Our Sun just happens to be a star we can see up close.

Periodic Table

Elements

A large, sculptural display of the periodic table of the elements, with real samples of each, offers visitors the chance to compare the elements in stars with those in the human body.

The Sun

The Active Sun

Time-lapse videos from NASA and other space agencies reveal the Sun as an active, energetic, and fascinating object.