Lick Observatory

Lick Observatory Lick Observatory is a Bay Area icon. We have been at the forefront of astronomical research since 1888. Visit us: ucolick.org/main
UC Observatories (UCO) is a Multi-campus Research Unit of the University of California, providing UC astronomers with a state-of-the-art astronomical research facility. Lick Observatory, part of UCO, are located on the summit of 4200' Mount Hamilton in the Diablo Range, overlooking the San Francisco Bay. It's administrative headquarters, instrument and optics laboratories are based at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
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"Silent Sky", a play by Lauren Gunderson, is about Henrietta Leavitt, her experience as a woman in astronomy, and her di...
05/18/2019
'Silent Sky' Shines a Spotlight on a Woman in Love with Astronomy

"Silent Sky", a play by Lauren Gunderson, is about Henrietta Leavitt, her experience as a woman in astronomy, and her discovery of the Cepheid variable star period-luminosity relationship. Lick Observatory astronomer Elinor Gates helped the cast understand the science and the history of women in astronomy in preparation for this production by City Lights Theater Company in San Jose. https://www.kqed.org/arts/13857555/silent-sky-shines-a-spotlight-on-a-woman-in-love-with-astronomy

San Francisco playwright Lauren Gunderson resurrects the story of a trailblazing astronomer and her cohort.

Want to take photos like these beauties taken by Chris Cassell, who attended our May 8th Photography Night?  Get behind ...
05/10/2019

Want to take photos like these beauties taken by Chris Cassell, who attended our May 8th Photography Night? Get behind the scenes access to the 36" refractor, the historic Main Building, and access to views of San Jose and the sky to do art photos, nighttime photography, and/or astrophotography. Tickets are still available for most of the 2019 Photography Nights. More information is available on-line at http://www.ucolick.org/main/visit/photo.html

2019 Mandel Lecture: Lava Worlds to Living Worlds
05/03/2019
2019 Mandel Lecture: Lava Worlds to Living Worlds

2019 Mandel Lecture: Lava Worlds to Living Worlds

Lava Worlds to Living Worlds: How a NASA Mission Sparked the Search for Life Beyond Earth Featuring astrophysicist Natalie Batalha Former lead scientist on the Kepler mission, Natalie Batalha detects and characterizes planets orbiting other stars in the galaxy, with the objective of finding evidence...

Dr. Natalie Batalha will be present a free public talk about exoplanets at the Rio Theater in Santa, Cruz on Wednesday J...
05/03/2019
2019 Mandel Lecture: Lava Worlds to Living Worlds

Dr. Natalie Batalha will be present a free public talk about exoplanets at the Rio Theater in Santa, Cruz on Wednesday June 5th at 7:30pm.
https://calendar.ucsc.edu/event/2019_mandel_lecture_lava_worlds_to_living_worlds#.XMymiGSpGL4

Lava Worlds to Living Worlds: How a NASA Mission Sparked the Search for Life Beyond Earth Featuring astrophysicist Natalie Batalha Former lead scientist on the Kepler mission, Natalie Batalha detects and characterizes planets orbiting other stars in the galaxy, with the objective of finding evidence...

Photography Night tickets are now available to the public at ucsctickets.com.http://ucolick.org/main/visit/photo.html
05/01/2019
Lick Observatory | Since 1888

Photography Night tickets are now available to the public at ucsctickets.com.

http://ucolick.org/main/visit/photo.html

At the summit of Mt. Hamilton, above the city of San Jose, we have spectacular views of the night sky. Due to Lick Observatory's popularity with photographers, we are organizing ten photography events this year.

The first image of the event horizon of a black hole!   This image shows the black hole in M87, a galaxy in the constell...
04/10/2019
First Images of a Black Hole from the Event Horizon Telescope

The first image of the event horizon of a black hole! This image shows the black hole in M87, a galaxy in the constellation Virgo, and its immediate environment. Back in 1918, Heber Curtis (using Lick Observatory's Crossley Telescope) discovered a jet of material emanating from the center of M87. It was the first clue that something different was going on at the center of this galaxy, which later was determined to be a supermassive black hole.

https://aasnova.org/2019/04/10/first-images-of-a-black-hole-from-the-event-horizon-telescope/?fbclid=IwAR1DKx29BbOmh8mCJizgRuUMwDuXi-eYgexfosdVJmA5VkTlRpzidPuNU6s

Astronomers have used a telescope that spans the globe to capture the first detailed images of a black hole.

Want to take photographs at Lick Observatory after hours?  Sign up for our Photography Night mailing list at http://ucol...
03/21/2019

Want to take photographs at Lick Observatory after hours? Sign up for our Photography Night mailing list at http://ucolick.org/main/visit/photo.html. We have ten Photography Nights scheduled for 2019 and the only way to get information on how to get tickets is to be on the mailing list. Tickets will go on sale on April 17th at Noon. Photo credit: Nilay Chheda.

03/10/2019

Last night we got about 3” of snow and more is possible today. CHP and CalTrans have closed the road due to hazardous conditions until Monday at 4pm. Hence the Observatory Visitors Center will be closed today.

Save the Date!  Lick Observatory's Summer Event tickets go on sale at Noon on Wednesday April 17th to the general public...
02/22/2019

Save the Date! Lick Observatory's Summer Event tickets go on sale at Noon on Wednesday April 17th to the general public. Friends of Lick Observatory members have access to purchase tickets for some events starting Weds April 10th at Noon (you must be a member by April 1st to take advantage of this membership benefit).

Our events sell out extremely quickly, so mark your calendars now so you don't miss your chance to attend a concert or view through our telescopes!

Dr. Sandra Faber, former director of Lick Observatory, will be speaking about "Cosmic Knowledge and the Future of the Hu...
02/21/2019
Cosmic Knowledge and the Future of the Human Race

Dr. Sandra Faber, former director of Lick Observatory, will be speaking about "Cosmic Knowledge and the Future of the Human Race" on March 19th at 6pm at the UCSC Silicon Valley Campus. Admission is free.

https://calendar.ucsc.edu/event/march_kraw_lecture_with_sandra_faber_7528#

The March Kraw Lecture featuring Sandra Faber. Modern astronomy is telling us the story of our cosmic origins—how the Galaxy was assembled, how the Sun and Earth were formed, and where the chemical elements came from that comprise our bodies. We can now use this knowledge of our cosmic past to pre...

Dr. Alex Filippenko will be speaking tonight at the Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela, HI about "Dark Energy and the Runaway Uni...
02/21/2019
Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe – W. M. Keck Observatory

Dr. Alex Filippenko will be speaking tonight at the Kahilu Theatre in Kamuela, HI about "Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe." Keck Observatory is managed in part by UC Observatories, the parent organization of Lick Observatory.
http://www.keckobservatory.org/filippenko_talk/

The Keck Observatory telescopes on Maunakea in Hawaii, are the world’s largest optical and infrared telescopes. Keck Observatory's vision is to advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries with the world.

Elinor Gates, staff astronomer at Lick Observatory, took this photo of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (at center of...
02/20/2019

Elinor Gates, staff astronomer at Lick Observatory, took this photo of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park (at center of the photograph) on February 18th. The day after a large winter storm tends to be the clearest and give the best views of the Sierra Nevada from the Observatory.

WOW! This photo of Half Dome was taken yesterday from 118 miles away at Lick Observatory near San Jose. (Courtesy: Elinor Gates)

Our HamCam2 web camera got a lovely photo the Super Snow Moon rising this evening.  This is the brightest full moon of 2...
02/20/2019

Our HamCam2 web camera got a lovely photo the Super Snow Moon rising this evening. This is the brightest full moon of 2019.

Snowfall this morning has covered our all-sky web camera and more snow is expected over the next few days.  CHP and CalT...
02/15/2019

Snowfall this morning has covered our all-sky web camera and more snow is expected over the next few days. CHP and CalTrans have closed Mt. Hamilton Rd. (Hwy 130) because of the icy, hazardous conditions on the road. The road will be closed through at least 4pm Monday Feb. 18.

A fascinating article about Dr. Claire Max, the director of UC Observatories (which manages Lick Observatory and is a pa...
02/15/2019
Former Livermore Physicist Directs UC Astronomical Observatories

A fascinating article about Dr. Claire Max, the director of UC Observatories (which manages Lick Observatory and is a partner in the Keck Observatory and Thirty Meter Telescope).

http://www.independentnews.com/news/former-livermore-physicist-directs-uc-astronomical-observatories/article_8e9be9f2-2a39-11e9-b207-8fe2fb921768.html

To enter the world of Claire Max is to encounter some of the most exotic mysteries in the universe: what happens when black holes collide? What do gravitational waves reveal about violent events billions of light years from Earth? What is happening to our Milky Way galaxy as it gobbles up smaller ga...

Tony Misch, head of our Historical Collections, is in a fascinating interview about Lick Observatory's history, women as...
02/08/2019
TONY MISCH ON HIDDEN FIGURES AT LICK OBSERVATORY, ALBERT EINSTEIN & JOHANNES KEPLER

Tony Misch, head of our Historical Collections, is in a fascinating interview about Lick Observatory's history, women astronomers, and ties to famous scientists Albert Einstein and Johannes Kepler.

https://kamlashow.com/2019/01/28/tony-misch-on-hidden-figures-at-lick-observatory-albert-einstein-johannes-kepler/

Tony Misch is director of Lick Observatory Historical Collection projects Lick Observatory located in Silicon Valley is a historic observatory and one of the oldest observatories in western USA.…

About 6.5 inches of total snowfall on Mt. Hamilton from the storm that ended this morning.  Photos by Elinor Gates
02/05/2019

About 6.5 inches of total snowfall on Mt. Hamilton from the storm that ended this morning. Photos by Elinor Gates

Snow started coming down at about 10am yesterday and it is predicted to continue through this morning.  Mount Hamilton R...
02/05/2019
Flurry of flurries fall on Mount Hamilton

Snow started coming down at about 10am yesterday and it is predicted to continue through this morning. Mount Hamilton Road (CA-130) is closed due to the snow and icy conditions. Our maintenance staff is using the observatory snow plow to keep our mountain roads and driveways clear so our staff can get to and from the telescope domes and do our jobs today. Snowy days allow our staff to catch up on preventive maintenance and improvements to the telescopes, as well as analyze data from the telescopes, since we won't be able to view the skies until the weather clears and the domes are clear of snow and ice.

Rain turned to snow as light flurries began falling and sticking to the ground just below 4,000 feet on Mount Hamilton.

George Madeira helped inspire James Lick to build “a telescope superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet ma...
02/02/2019
How one Amador County miner inspired world's first mountaintop observatory

George Madeira helped inspire James Lick to build “a telescope superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made ... and also a suitable observatory connected therewith.” Read more about George Madeira and the history of astronomy in California in this excellent article published in today's SF Chronicle.
https://www.sfchronicle.com/travel/article/How-one-Amador-County-miner-inspired-world-s-13581224.php

For more stories like this, check out The Chronicle’s weekly Travel newsletter! Sign up here. In the spring of 1843, George Madeira gazed up and saw the bright body and hazy tail of a comet streaking across the night sky. The sight sparked an interest in astronomy that would carry him throughout h...

A Total Lunar Eclipse will occur on Sunday Jan 20th.   All you need is a clear view of the Moon and good weather to see ...
01/20/2019
Your Guide to January's Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse - Sky & Telescope

A Total Lunar Eclipse will occur on Sunday Jan 20th. All you need is a clear view of the Moon and good weather to see the Moon move through the Earth's shadow. If you are in the Bay Area the partial eclipse begins at 7:34pm, totality starts at 8:41pm, totality ends at 9:44pm, and the partial eclipse ends at 10:51pm.

https://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/your-guide-to-januarys-supermoon-total-lunar-eclipse/?k=jxF3xwETEGS%2Fmxn2StwHN8YuaNHnXZ89PtUIyeIfgvo%3D&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=sky-mya-nl-190111&cid=DM96964&bid=965549451

How to see the total lunar eclipse on the night of January 20–21. Watch as the first full Moon of 2019 dances delightfully with Earth's shadow!

Dr. Arnold Klemola worked at Lick Observatory, primarily using the Carnegie Dual Astrograph telescope, starting in 1967....
01/19/2019
In Memoriam: Arnold Klemola (1931–2019)

Dr. Arnold Klemola worked at Lick Observatory, primarily using the Carnegie Dual Astrograph telescope, starting in 1967. Even though he retired in 1992, he remained active in research at Lick through the end of 2018. He will be dearly missed by his friends and colleagues at Lick Observatory.
https://news.ucsc.edu/2019/01/klemola-in-memoriam.html

Arnold Klemola, a long-time staff researcher at UC Observatories, passed away on January 5, 2019. He was 87.

Early 2019 appears to be continuing the trend witnessed as 2018 came to a close: once again, the names of two former Lic...
01/05/2019
APOD: 2019 January 5 - Yutu 2 on the Farside

Early 2019 appears to be continuing the trend witnessed as 2018 came to a close: once again, the names of two former Lick Observatory astronomers are presently being echoed throughout world media:

Approximately 240,000 miles from Earth, on 3 January, on the Moon's far side, Chinese robotic lunar rover Yutu 2 trundled away from its Chang'e-4 mother ship some 12 hours after it landed, and started exploring Aitkin basin - named for former Lick Observatory Director Robert G. Aitkin (31 December 1864 to 29 October 1951).

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190105.html

From over 16,000 times further away, on 2 January, the first high quality images of the bowling pin shaped object, nicknamed Ultima Thule where received from the New Horizons spacecraft following its latest encounter. Like Pluto, Ultima Thule is a Kuiper Belt Object - named for former Lick Observatory astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper (7 December 1905 to 23 December 1973).

https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190104.html

A different astronomy and space science related image is featured each day, along with a brief explanation.

Lick Observatory continues to be in the news because of the bolide meteor visible after sunset on Dec 19th.  https://tec...
12/30/2018
Social Media Abuzz Over Mysterious Bright Light in the Sky – TechNewsObserver

Lick Observatory continues to be in the news because of the bolide meteor visible after sunset on Dec 19th. https://technewsobserver.com/news/2018/12/29/social-media-abuzz-over-mysterious-bright-light-in-the-sky/

Social Media Abuzz Over Mysterious Bright Light in the Sky Posted By: Kay Greene December 29, 2018 As the sun was about to set along the west coast of the United States on Wednesday evening, some people reported seeing a mysterious light in the sky. During an average—read: busy—commute, many dri...

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7281 Mount Hamilton Rd
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95140

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