2024 Summer Series Public Events have been scheduled!
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


Highland Way

Celtic music with a Scottish flair!

The Highland Way Duo returns once again to the Music of the Spheres, bringing with them the best of Scotland – and a bit of Ireland as well. Scotsman Brian Caldwell, from Glasgow by way of Escondido, California takes the lead with vocals and rhythm guitar, while Paul Graham Castellanos, the master of all- things-strings, shines with rapid-fire fiddling on the jigs and reels. Together, they offer a high-spirited evening of their favorite melodies – dance tunes, traditional melodies, Dougie McLean songs, and more – mixed with a healthy dose of friendly banter.

When not appearing as a Duo, Highland Way tours as a larger ensemble, adding accordion, keyboards, bass, and percussion, entertaining audience from North America to Ireland and Brian’s native Scotland.


“Just spectacular musicians, a joy to work with from the minute they walked in the door.”

Columbia Theatre, Longview, WA

Science Lecture

(presented twice)

Dr. Tucker Jones
Dr. Tucker Jones

University of California, Davis

“Rediscovering the Distant Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope”

Dr. Tucker Jones is an astronomer at the University of California at Davis. After earning his PhD in astrophysics at Caltech, he held fellowships at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Hawaii before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2016. He and his research group study how galaxies form and evolve throughout the history of the universe, from the most distant objects seen billions of years ago, to present-day systems such as our home galaxy the Milky Way. They make use of the most powerful telescopes both on Earth and in space including several current programs on the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and Keck Observatory. A particular recent focus is the production of heavy elements by stars in the early stages of galaxy formation.

When not on campus or at the telescopes, Tucker enjoys spending time with his family and going on adventures in the mountains.

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 M11, the Wild Duck Cluster, in the constellation Scutum.

Telescope Operators:

36-inch Great Refractor

Pat Maloney | Rick Baldridge

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.

Join Friends of Lick Observatory
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