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 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


White Album Ensemble Chamber Orchestra
White Album Ensemble Chamber Orchestra

The original White Album Ensemble was a 5-10 piece ensemble that covered Beatles music, but Beatles music that was never performed live. The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and began a recording career that yielded the “classics of our time” from “Rubber Soul,” to “Sgt. Peppers,” to “Abbey Road.”  For 2023, a few members of the original White Album Ensemble have created the White Album Ensemble Chamber Orchestra to perform instrumental versions of Beatles and other bands of the time period’s music, wonderfully suited to Lick Observatory’s unique venue.

“A must-see show for Beatles fans…”

— Santa Cruz Sentinel

“…musically, they were tighter than a hangman’s noose… an excellent performance…”

— Metro Santa Cruz

Visit White Album Ensemble for more information about the original group.

Science Lecture

(presented twice)

Dr. Agnès Ferté
Dr. Agnès Ferté

Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

“On the verge of a big leap in cosmology”

Research in cosmology today is thrilling! While we understand our Universe quite well, there are many mysteries that are left to be solved: was Einstein wrong? What is dark matter? How fast is the Universe expanding? Thanks to the new generation of telescopes, we will get closer as ever to solving these open questions and maybe revolutionizing physics. I will explain the state of cosmology today and the promises of future telescopes to solve the mysteries of our Universe.

From a small village in France, Dr. Agnès Ferté is a cosmologist, searching for new physics with the latest cosmological data. She obtained her PhD in Physics at the Université Paris-Saclay before working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in the UK. There, she started working on challenging Einstein’s theory of gravity with galaxy survey data, joining the international Dark Energy Survey collaboration. After a quick stop at the University College London, she came to California to work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to continue her research. Last year, she joined KIPAC at SLAC to work on the Rubin Observatory, an experiment that will change our view of astronomy. California is an inspiring place to be doing astronomy as it is home of historical observatories, like the Lick Observatory, and lead some of the new ones!

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 refractor 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

Pat Maloney | Rolf Weber

40-inch Reflector

Murali Balasubramaniam

40-inch Control Room

Andy Macica

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.

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