Mount Hamilton Road (CA Hwy 130) has reopened.
Event Information

Tonight’s Host: Dr. Elinor Gates

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

This Evening’s Events



Oscar Reynolds and Karumanta
Oscar Reynolds and Karumanta

Bolivian-born master Andean flutist and guitarist Oscar Reynolds leads Karumanta, whose self-composed repertoire and top-notch performance are an eclectic exploration of Quechua, Aymara, and African music of Bolivia laced with flamenco, Brazilian bossanova, funk, and jazz. Perhaps best known for playing the Andean panpipes and guitar simultaneously, Oscar has received lifetime honors from the Bolivian government, California Senate and legislature, and the Arts & Culture Commission of Contra Costa County for his musical achievements and advocacy of Bolivian music throughout the world. Joining Oscar is Peruvian bassist David Pinto, and Bolivian-American percussionist Huascar Reynolds, whose polyphonic rhythms on the cajon (box drum) complete the sound. Website

Science Lecture

(presented twice)

Matthew Shetrone, Deputy Director for UC Observatories
Dr. Matthew Shetrone

University of California, Santa Cruz

“Galactic Archaeology: Uncovering the construction of the Milky Way”

A Love of Exploration

As a young child, Matthew Shetrone loved to explore. He says he’d go hiking with his Boy Scout troop, marveling at archaeological finds. Later, he embarked on travels to Australia and Europe. Today, Matthew has expanded his horizons to exploring extrasolar planets, massive galaxies, the early universe, and other phenomena. Like explorers and archeologists he enjoys forging into the darkest and least known areas of our world with the most cutting-edge tools available.

“See the broader world outside of science.

Matthew says there he was most impacted by his teacher Gale Cope. Matthew says Ms. Cope pushed him “to see the broader world outside of science: theater, art, athletics, nature, and culture. She wanted all of her students to be well-rounded people and active community leaders.” Her influence on Matthew shines today as he loves to experience foreign cultures by traveling, and running on new trails or neighborhoods.

Matthew completed his undergraduate degree in astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin. He then attended The University of California at Santa Cruz where he completed his Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics. From his experience with optical telescopes at McDonald Observatory as an undergraduate and at the Keck and Lick Observatories as a graduate student, Matthew was hooked on optical astronomy. Ph.D. in hand, he went south of the equator to the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile.

“It was going to be a success.”

By far, Matt says his most gratifying moment in his astronomical career occurred when was as a graduate student. He worked for a couple of years to simulate the production of a particular element in the nucleosynthesis that occurs within stars. The existence of this element in stars had been proposed but never observed. Finally, after a year of hard work, Matt was granted time on the Shane three-meter telescope at Lick Observatory. On the first night, he had good weather and observed a spectrum of a star. Eureka! The spectrum showed that, as he predicted, this element was present in the star. “I knew at that moment that even though I would have three more long years of work to finish my thesis that it was going to be a success.”

“Who could have a better job than me?”

Matthew has returned to the University of California system as the Deputy Director for UC Observatories.  Regarding his job, he says, “On a daily basis I get to work with some of the most talented astronomers in the world and the largest and most well equipped telescopes in the world.  Who could have a better job than mine?”

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 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 the Cat’s Eye Nebula, a planetary nebula in the constellation Draco.

Telescope Operators:

36-inch Great Refractor

Patrick Maloney | Jon Rees

40-inch Reflector

Murali Balasubramaniam

40-inch Control Room

Keith Wandry

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, 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
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