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

Tonight’s Host: Dr. Jon Rees

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. Emmanuel Schaan

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

“A Cosmic shadow theater: How galaxy silhouettes reveal their dark side”

Abstract:
The afterglow from the Big Bang, the “cosmic microwave background”, acts as the backlight in a shadow theater where galaxies are the protagonists. The resulting galaxy shadows contain unique information about the invisible components of galaxies, such as their cold gas and dark matter, which hold clues to the nature of dark matter, dark energy, and the formation of galaxies. I will present some of the scientific efforts to reveal these galaxy silhouettes, using unprecedented cosmic microwave background experiments and galaxy surveys.

Dr. Emmanuel Schaan is a Staff Scientist at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. As a cosmologist, he studies the origin and evolution of the Universe, by analyzing data from large telescopes in the US, Chile and space. His work focuses on the cosmic microwave background, the earliest light visible after the Big Bang, and on the large-scale distribution of galaxies. Emmanuel grew up in Paris, France before moving to Princeton, NJ, Berkeley, CA and finally to Redwood City, CA. He loves astrophotography, tinkering, electronics and DIY projects.

History Lecture

(presented twice)

Ron Bricmont
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.

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, a planetary nebula in the constellation Lyra.

Telescope Operators:

36-inch Great Refractor

Kieren Emens | Keith Wandry

40-inch Reflector

Andrew Macica

40-inch Control Room

Murali Balasubramaniam

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.

Refreshments

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.

Lights

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

Assistance

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.

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