2024 Summer Series Public Events have been scheduled! Tickets go on sale on Wednesday April 17th at Noon!
Event Information

Tonight’s Host: Dr. Paul Lynam

7:30 pm Doors Open Brief Telescope Visits
8:30 pm Science Talk, Lecture Hall History Talk, Great Refractor Dome
9:30 pm Science Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
10:30 pm History Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
1:00 am  Doors Close

This Evening’s Lectures


Science Lecture

(presented twice)

Dr. Jessica Sutter
Dr. Jessica Sutter

University of California, San Diego

“The Interstellar Medium in the Infrared:  Using JWST, Herschel, and SOFIA to study the gas and dust in nearby galaxies”

Dr, Jessica Sutter is a postdoctoral researcher in the astronomy and astrophysics department at the University of California San Diego.  Her research is focused on using infrared observations of nearby galaxies to study gas and dust between the stars, referred to as the interstellar medium.  By studying the interstellar medium in the infrared, environments otherwise hidden by cosmic dust can be revealed.  Jessica received her PhD from the University of Wyoming, where her thesis was focused on the application of ionized carbon emission as a tracer of star formation.  After completing her PhD, she worked at NASA Ames,  in the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science Center.  SOFIA was a telescope that flew in an airplane to reach above most of the water in Earth’s atmosphere, providing infrared data that would otherwise be inaccessible to ground-based observatories.  While working there, she studied nearby galaxies, including the iconic Sombrero Galaxy.  She currently works with the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) team, studying the distribution and properties of dust in local universe galaxies using new JWST data.  She has been part of many outreach groups, including the Wyoming Science Roadshow and Wyoming Women in STEM day, and loves getting to share her excitement about space with others!  In her spare time, Jessica loves to explore the outdoors, whether that is open water swimming, backpacking, or lounging in the sun with her cat.

History Lecture

(1st presentation)

Ron Bricmont

Ron Bricmont has been an observatory guide since 1991 and a coordinator of the Observatory’s volunteer program since its inception in 1997. He is a member of the staff of the Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project. Ron’s life-long interest in Lick Observatory and its history began with his first visit to the observatory as a six-year-old in 1945.

History Lecture

(2nd presentation)

Eric Bricmont

Eric Bricmont is a long-time volunteer at Lick Observatory, amateur astronomer and photographer. His devotion and passion for science is equaled only by his love of history. In addition to his time at the Observatory he also is an active volunteer with the Santa Clara County Parks, helping to provide monthly astronomy programs to the public.

Tonight’s Telescopes & Objects

36-inch Lick Refractor. Photo (c) Laurie Hatch.

Lick Observatory’s 36-inch Great Refractor saw “first light” in 1888. At the time, it was the largest refracting telescope in the world. It is an enduring memorial to James Lick’s philanthropy and his final resting place.

For nearly 300 years after Galileo first turned a telescope toward the heavens it was believed that the largest planet in our solar system, Jupiter, had just four moons. In 1892, using the Lick’s 36-inch Great Refractor, Edward Barnard discovered a fifth moon, the much fainter Amalthea, the last moon of any planet to be discovered without the aid of photography, electronic detectors or space-based telescopes.

The 36-inch telescope will show you an interesting astronomical object of the telescope operator’s choosing. This may be a globular cluster of stars, a binary star, or a galaxy.

Nickel 1-m Telescope. Photo (c) Laurie Hatch.

The Nickel 40-inch Reflector, named for philanthropist Anna Nickel, was designed and built in the Lick Observatory Technical Facilities at UC Santa Cruz and completed in 1979. The 40” diameter mirror of this modern telescope makes it the third most powerful telescope on Mount Hamilton.

Tonight you will view M57, the Ring Nebula, in the constellation Lyra.

Telescope Operators:

36-inch Great Refractor

Keith Wandry | Monique Windju

40-inch Reflector

Andy Macica

40-inch Control Room

Pat Maloney

Telescopes will be available for viewing, weather conditions permitting, as soon as it is dark enough and will remain open until everyone has had an opportunity to see through both telescopes.

Share tonight’s experience on Social Media: #LickObservatory @LickObservatory

Additional Viewing Opportunities – Weather Permitting

Amateur astronomers have telescopes set up behind the main building. They will enjoy showing you other objects in the sky.

The Gift Shop is open tonight from 7:30 pm to 11:30 pm.


Snacks and beverages are available at the refreshment table in the main foyer. All proceeds help support the public programs. In the past, we have used proceeds to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), additional wooden benches in the main building, new speakers and amplifiers for the main building hallway, and partial funding of two spotting telescopes by the flag pole.

Dark Adjustment

Your experience at the telescopes will be better if your eyes have had an opportunity to adjust to the dark. For this reason, we try to keep the light levels low in both wings of the main hall.


Please refrain from use of flash photography or white light flashlights in the domes or adjoining hallway.


We strive to make your visit as complete and meaningful as possible. Please let us know if you will need special assistance (for example, if you will have difficulty climbing stairs) by emailing tickets@ucolick.org, so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Our Volunteers

All of Lick Observatory’s public programs are greatly enhanced by the valuable participation of our many dedicated volunteers.

Join Friends of Lick Observatory
Support Lick’s science, education, history, and future