MWO founder George Ellery Hale atop Mt. Wilson, 1904 Huntington Library


60-inch Observing

100-inch Observing

Filming at MWO

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Contact Information

Support Mount Wilson by Becoming a

Volunteer Docent

Mount Wilson Observatory is visited by thousands of people each year, and the Observatory is presently expanding its tour program. To do so, we need the help of volunteers to staff these tours and to represent Mount Wilson to the visiting public. We currently have openings for docents and conduct training courses two or three times a year.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy doing and can fit into your schedule, download and submit the Docent Application Form. If you are accepted, you will be invited to the next scheduled training course and will be expected to attend four Saturday training sessions at the Observatory. For those unable to attend the last two sessions, alternate dates may be possible.


Docent Benefits - While the greatest benefit may be the access you have to the behind the scenes aspects of the Observatory and the fun of telling the public about it, we provide docents with the following additional benefits:
  • Polo-type logo shirt and idenfication.
  • Free evening of 60-inch observing.
  • Free individual membership in the Friends of Mount Wilson Observatory.
  • Free lunch at the Cosmic Cafe for regular weekend tour docents along with a 15% discount on MWO souvenirs sold at the Cafe.
Docent Requirements - We expect that docents will:
  • Lead, or assist with, a minimum of 12 tours per year.
  • Attend four Saturday training sessions at Mount Wilson, each lasting approximately 6 hours.
  • Attend several tours led by certified docents to gain familiarity with the process.
  • Have a good command of the English language and the ability to communicate well with the general public.
  • Possess enthusiasm and dependability.
  • Have some understanding of the the basics of astronomy.
  • Have regular email access.
Desirables Requirements - Although not a requirement, we are especially looking for docents who are:
  • Available on weekdays.
  • Available for multiple tours per month.
  • Fluent in additional language(s).