2024 Summer Series Public Events have been scheduled!
Event Information

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

Private Events for Google:


April 23, 2022  8:00 PM


April 30, 2022 8:00 PM


Google Evening with the Stars activities include:

  • Astronomy talk by Dr. Alex Filippenko
  • Viewing through the historic 36-inch Great Lick Refractor telescope
  • Viewing through the 40-inch Nickel Reflector telescope
  • Fascinating history talk about Lick Observatory
  • After-hours gift shop access
  • Astronomy discussions with amateur astronomers and viewing through small telescopes
Please note: Weather may restrict telescope viewings, but other activities will still take place. Due to safety regulations and the nature of the event, children must be at least 8 years of age for admission and accompanied by an adult.

Dr. Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley

Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley professor of astronomy

“Frontier Research and Technology at UC’s Lick Observatory”

Alex Filippenko, an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers.

A recipient of many honors for his scientific research, he was a member of both teams that revealed the Nobel-worthy accelerating expansion of the Universe, driven by mysterious “dark energy.” Voted the “Best Professor” on the UC Berkeley campus a record 9 times, he was also named the 2006 National Professor of the Year. He has appeared in about 100 TV documentaries.



Program Information

7:30 pm Doors Open Brief Telescope Visits
8:00 pm Science Talk, Lecture Hall History Talk, Great Refractor Dome
9:00 pm Science Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
10:00 pm History Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
11:30 pm  Doors Close

Detailed Program for April 23, 2022

Detailed Program for April 30, 2022

Our upcoming Evening with the Stars events will have the following COVID-19 requirements:

  • All guests must fill out our UC Santa Cruz COVID Daily Symptom Check either online before arrival at the observatory or via a paper form upon arrival and before the start of the event. You will receive more information regarding this COVID-19 requirement in a separate communication prior to the event.
  • All attendees must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test within the previous 72 hours.
  • Starting April 10th, wearing a face mask while indoors at Lick Observatory is no longer required, but is strongly recommended.
Driving to Lick Observatory

Please allow a one-hour drive from San Jose. The road is good, but windy. The event typically lasts between 4 and 6 hours; prepare to drive home late in the evening. Parking is limited at the Observatory, so we encourage carpooling. There are no automative services or gas stations for 20 miles, so please plan ahead. See more information on driving directions and parking here.

Recommended Attire

Casual, comfortable clothing and walking shoes.  It can get surprisingly cold and windy after dark, so a sweater or coat is recommended.


Please be careful when walking around in the dark outside; bringing a flashlight is recommended. Children under age 8 are not allowed at this event, and it may be unsuitable for children under the age of 12 due to late hours.


The large telescopes will be available for viewing as soon as the sky is dark. Telescopes will remain open until every guest has had an opportunity to see through both the 36-inch Great Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope.

In order to view through the telescopes, guests will receive a numbered pass at the door. Guests with the lowest telescope numbers are admitted to the telescopes first – so we recommend getting to the observatory early!

Please note: Due to the historic construction of the telescope domes, the 36-inch Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope are not wheelchair accessible at this time.

Volunteer amateur astronomers also set up small telescopes in the back parking so guests can view additional cosmic objects.

Gift Shop

Lick Observatory souvenirs and astronomy merchandise will be available for purchase between 7:30 to 11:30 p.m at the gift shop. You can also visit our gift shop online 24/7.


Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase at the refreshment table and gift shop. Vending machines and fountain water are also available.


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.

Venue Map

All events take place at the Main Building visitor center.  Directions and parking

Mailing List

Join the Summer Series mailing list to get updates on when events are scheduled, when tickets will go on sale, and announcements of new programs.