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

Evening with the Stars. Photo (c) Laurie Hatch.

August 25th, 2023  8:00pm

Astronomy Speaker:  Dr. Bruce Macintosh (UC Observatories)

Lecture Information

Dr. Bruce Macintosh (University of California Observatories)

Pictures of Distant Worlds

In the past two and a half decades, more than 4000 planets have been discovered orbiting other stars beyond our own Solar System. This has sparked a revolution in astronomy as we realize our Solar System is not alone. However, we still don’t know if our Solar System is rare or unique — the powerful techniques that detect extrasolar planets have discovered systems very different than our own. In recent years, advances in technology have allowed a handful of giant planets to be imaged directly.

Find out about the first-ever images of other solar systems — and the technology that has allowed us to discover them, such as the Gemini Planet Imager — as well as the future planet-hunting space telescopes. The ultimate goal is detection of a second ‘pale blue dot’ — an Earth twin where we could even see the biosignatures of extrasolar life. Such a discovery will truly complete the evolution of our view of the Universe.


Dr. Bruce Macintosh

Dr. Macintosh is the Director of UC’s nationally and internationally renowned astronomical ecosystem that includes the Lick Observatory, the technical laboratories at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA and UC’s partnership role in the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

Dr. Macintosh spent nine years as professor of physics at Stanford University and served as deputy director of its Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology. An accomplished scholar, Macintosh made significant contributions to science as principal investigator on numerous research grants for NASA, the National Science Foundation and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he served prior to his post at Stanford.

Dr. Macintosh’s research has centered on the study of extrasolar planets­­, in particular, examining such planets through direct imaging and adaptive optics. Among his many accomplishments, he co-led the team that produced the first images of a system of exoplanets. He led the international collaboration that produced the Gemini Planet Imager, deployed to the Gemini South Telescope, which led to the identification of new exoplanets and advanced the study of planet formation. In addition, he directed a science investigation team for the coronagraph instrument on NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman mission. He has served on multiple National Academy of Sciences committees on astrophysics strategy, including the Astro2020 Decadal Survey.

Dr. Macintosh, who earned his Ph.D. in astronomy at UCLA, strongly believes in making the fields of astronomy and physics more inclusive, diverse, and supportive.

Ticket Information

Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite starting May 8th, 2023 at Noon.

Join Friends of Lick Observatory (FoLO) and Get Tickets Early
If you’d like to purchase tickets as early as noon on April 27th, 2023, join our Friends of Lick Observatory (FoLO) program by March 1st, 2023. As a thank you for supporting the observatory, you’ll get special access to purchase tickets before they go on sale for the general public.

More information about tickets and pricing is available here.

Program Information

7:00 pm Doors Open Brief Telescope Visits
8:00 pm Science Talk, Lecture Hall History Talk, Great Refractor Telescope Dome
9:00 pm Science Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
10:00 pm History Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
12:30 am Doors Close

Gift shop is open from 7:30pm until 11:30pm.

Detailed Event Program

More general information about the event is available at Evening with the Stars.