Monthly Public Tours

NEXT PUBLIC TOUR DATE: Saturday, October 14th

Doors open at 1:00 p.m.

LIGO Hanford offers free public tours of the observatory on the second Saturday of each month. Two walking tours take place on each tour date: one at 1:30 p.m. and another at 3:30 p.m. You may join either of these tours. In addition, a LIGO staff member will give a public talk at 3:00. (Note: those taking the 1:30 tour will be back in time to attend the 3:00 talk).

You do not need to RSVP for tours or talks, but please note the following:

The 1:30 tour tends to attract many times more people than the 3:30 tour. Because we want all of our visitors to enjoy their time at LIGO, we encourage you to opt for the 3:30 tour if at all possible. Thank you!

 

Additional things to note:

  • Admission is free and no reservations are required
  • Plan to arrive about 10 minutes prior to the time of the tour you would like to attend
  • The walking tour lasts about one hour. Guests should dress for the season and wear comfortable shoes. Note that the site can be quite windy and dusty.
  • Photographs are welcome so bring your camera!
  • LIGO tours are suitable for all ages. The talks are appropriate for visitors aged 12 and up, but all ages are welcome
  • LIGO’s facilities are wheelchair accessible, though you will encounter some hills

 

What will I see?

During your visit you will see many interactive and static exhibits, including a full-scale engineering model of the "quad suspension" that is so critical to LIGO's success. You will also experience an extraordinary view of the interferometer's arms stretching 4 km (2.5 miles) off into the distance, get up close to a sample of the beam tube and its concrete enclosure, and visit the control room, where you will learn even more about LIGO from the people who maintain and operate the world's most sensitive measuring device.