Fire Emergency: The list of immediate needs is growing and our priorities may need to evolve with circumstances. Your gift to the UCO Director’s Discretionary Fund today will provide the flexible support necessary for Director Max to address needs as they arise in this rapidly changing situation.

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    UC Observatories
    Lick Observatory and Keck Observatory
    provide UC astronomers with world-leading equipment.
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    Thirty Meter Telescope
    TMT is scheduled
    for first light in the late 2020s.
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    Lick Observatory
    Since 1888, Lick Observatory has been
    at the forefront of astronomical research.
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    W. M. Keck Observatory
    UCO acts a managing partner
    of the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Information for Observers:

Calls for Proposals

The University of California Observatories (UCO) is a multi-campus research unit. We operate the Lick Observatory, the technical labs at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, and we are a managing partner of the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. We are the center for the UC participation in the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project.

Featured News


  • Director Campbell

    Inside a Historic Observatory That Almost Went Up in Flames

    September 4th, 2020

    As we work on plans to get Lick back into operation we want to share its important historical significance.
    "Lick Observatory's first electric generator was donated by Thomas Edison. Edwin Hubble visited, as did President Benjamin Harrison, and Winston Churchill."



  • UCO Special Public Address August 25 Lick Observatory Fire Update

    August 28th, 2020

    Director Claire Max talks about the wildfires impact on Lick Observatory. Superintendent Kostas Chloros on Mt. Hamilton staff joined her to help provide updates on known damage and potential future repair/science timelines and priorities.


    New Observations of Black Hole Devouring a Star Reveal Rapid Disk Formation

    August 26th, 2020

    Observations obtained at Lick Observatory and the W. M. Keck Observatory, led by astronomers at UC Santa Cruz now provide clear evidence that debris from the star forms a rotating disk, called an accretion disk, around the black hole. Read more here.

  • CA Wildfire Lick

    A California Wildfire Nearly Destroyed the Historic Lick Observatory

    August 26th, 2020

    The state’s apocalyptic blazes have burned 2,000 square miles in 10 days. Here’s how they almost claimed a 130-year-old astronomical icon. Read more here.