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    Welcome to Lick Observatory
    We are an active research facility
    and a beloved Bay Area icon.
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    Experience the observatory at night.
    Summer Series
    June 2018 - August 2018
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    At the cutting edge since 1888.
    Lick provides UC astronomers
    with world-leading equipment.

All our summer evening events are SOLD OUT. Please refer to www.stubhub.com for possible 2nd hand tickets.

Lick Observatory is located on the summit of Mount Hamilton, California, roughly 20 miles east of San Jose. The Visitor Center is open to the public year-round THU through SUN, from noon to 5 p.m., admission is free.

Featured News

We wish all the Lick Observatory ticket holders a wonderful time on Mount Hamilton during our summer evening events :-)

Overview of the 38th Annual Summer Series:

Experience a night to remember at Lick Observatory in 2018: Visit us for exceptional music, lectures by renowned scientists, viewings through the historical 36" Great Refractor and the 40" Nickel Reflector telescopes and more! Our 2018 line-up:

June 8, 8:30 pm Astronomy Lecture Raja GuhaThakurta | UC Santa Cruz SOLD OUT
June 9, 8:30 pm Concert & Lecture Black Cedar | Tucker Jones SOLD OUT
June 22, 8:30 pm Astronomy Lecture Aaron Romanowsky | San Jose State SOLD OUT
June 23, 8:30 pm Concert & Lecture White Album Ensemble | C. Dressing SOLD OUT
July 6, 8:30 pm Astronomy Lecture Sandra Faber | UC Santa Cruz SOLD OUT
July 7, 8:30 pm Concert & Lecture Melody of China | Virginia Trimble SOLD OUT
July 20, 8:30 pm Astronomy Lecture Natalie Batalha | NASA Ames R. Ctr. SOLD OUT
July 21, 8:30 pm Concert & Lecture Broceliande | Ruth Murray-Clay SOLD OUT
August 3, 8:30 pm Astronomy Lecture Andrew Fraknoi | U. of San Francisco SOLD OUT
August 4, 8:30 pm Concert & Lecture Ancient Future | Vivian U SOLD OUT
August 17, 8 pm Astronomy Lecture Tesla Jeltema | UC Santa Cruz SOLD OUT
August 18, 8 pm Concert & Lecture Charged Particles | E. Ramirez-Ruiz SOLD OUT

Ticket Information

Tickets for the general public went on sale on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at noon through ucsctickets.com. Please email tickets@ucolick.org if you have any questions.

Due to safety regulations, children must be at least 8 years of age for admission and accompanied by an adult. Due to late program hours, the programs may be difficult for children under 12. The concert evenings ("Music of the Spheres") are for visitors 12 and older. All events will take place rain or shine.

Become a Friend of Lick and Get Tickets Early

As a thank you for supporting the observatory, you'll get special access to purchase tickets for the Summer Series (not the Public Evening Tours) one week before the general public (the deadline for becoming a FoLO member and to enjoy this member benefit was April 1st, 2018 for the 2018 Summer Series). To receive updates and news from us, please join our mailing list.

Lick Observatory has been at the
forefront of astronomy since 1888.

Lick Observatory was founded thanks to James Lick, an eccentric California millionaire who dreamed of building a "telescope superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made." What followed was the famous Great Refractor, a feat of engineering and the largest refracting telescope in the world when it was completed in 1888.

Today, Lick serves as an active research facility for astronomers from eight UC astronomy campuses and two national laboratories. At any given time, over 100 observers are pursuing science programs at Lick Observatory.

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Total Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

Viewing the Solar Eclipse

Lick Observatory will not be open for viewing the Total Solar Eclipse, and we discourage you from driving up to the observatory as the Lick Observatory Visitor Center will be closed, but there are many other options to enjoy the experience:

If you cannot travel to the path of totality, NASA will host an Eclipse Megacast providing live stream broadcast of the eclipse. The San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA) will be holding a viewing event at Houge Park for the eclipse and everyone is welcome to join! For the August 21, 2017 event, the Kronos String Quartet will accompany the sonification process at the San Francisco Exploratorium and turn the entire eclipse into a spectacular sonic experience. The solar eclipse can also be viewed through your phones using the Total Solar Eclipse 2017 App! For more information, click here.

Please be advised to only purchase Solar Eclipse safe shades, glasses, or viewers. A good resource is the American Astronomical Society (AAS) which published a comprehensive online guide for viewing the eclipse safely.

Join the Lick Observatory family

The Friends of Lick Observatory (FoLO) membership program offers members an opportunity to participate in the Lick community and enjoy special connections with the telescopes, scientists, and science programs.Benefits include:

  • Opportunity for advance purchase of tickets for Summer Series events
  • 'Lick Observer' newsletter
  • 10% discount on gift shop merchandise
  • And more!
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Donate to Lick Observatory

Since the time of Galileo, astronomy research worldwide has benefited greatly by generous philanthropic support.

For 129 years, Lick Observatory has defined the cutting edge of astronomical research, technological development and public education. Our paramount goal is to continue these pursuits for decades to come. Help us continue our goal and donate today!

Give Now

All gifts are processed through the UC Santa Cruz Foundation. Thank you.

Thank you for your support on GIVING DAY 2017!

UCSC Asst. Professor of Astronomy Ryan Foley and his team of undergraduate student researchers were asking for your support to search for the sources of gravitational wave events with the Nickel telescope at Lick Observatory

Gravitational waves are spectacular ripples through the fabric of space-time originally predicted by Einstein a century ago and finally detected just last year. This discovery is a watershed event for our understanding of the Universe. But we still have so much to do! The next step is detecting light associated with gravitational waves. Our team of undergraduate researchers are performing this search with the Anna L. Nickel telescope at Lick Observatory. This is a unique opportunity for students to participate in cutting-edge research in physics and astronomy. Funding for this project will directly support undergraduate students. We will also upgrade the Nickel operations, increasing our chances of making the next big discovery!

We raised $ 5,932.00 with 51 gifts on UCSC GIVING DAY 2017.

Thank you so much for your support!

Watch the UCSC Giving Day 2017 Thank You video
Lick Observatory

Lick Observatory Self-Guided Walking Tour Fundraising Campaign Exceeds Goal of $10,000 in 24 Hours

May 26, 2016

Lick Observatory

Thanks to our amazing friends and supporters, we reached our fundraising goal for the installation of a self-guided educational walking tour at Lick Observatory. In just 24 hours, we exceeded our $10,000 match to raise $20,455 from 89 gifts as part of the UC Santa Cruz Giving Day.

We're hard at work designing the new walking tour. Here are the benefits to come:

  • Permanent signage at 12 historic locations around Lick Observatory's telescopes and grounds.
  • Walking tour will highlight historical information and scientific achievements for UC and California
  • Walking tour will have educational information to appeal to visitors of all ages
  • Walking tour will improve the visitor experience for 30,000 people who visit every year

For 129 years, Lick Observatory has defined the cutting edge of astronomical research, technological development and public education. Our paramount goal is to continue these pursuits now and well into the future.

Stay tuned for more exciting information about Lick Observatory. Thank YOU for your support.

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