Lick Observatory is located on the summit of Mount Hamilton, California, roughly 20 miles east of San Jose. The Visitor Center and Gift Shop are open to the public year-round Thursday through Sunday, from 12 to 5 p.m.
Important Travel Information:
UPDATE 05/05/2017: Mount Hamilton Road (SR 130) is open again. There will be occasional closings for striping and guardrail work for about one week. Please check for possible road closures here (CalTrans) before you make a trip.
Experience a night to remember at Lick Observatory: Visit us for exceptional music, lectures by renowned scientists, viewings through the historical 36" Great Refractor and the 40" Nickel Reflector telescopes and more!
|June 16, 8:30 pm||Astronomy Lecture||Gaspard Duchêne, UC Berkeley SOLD OUT|
|June 17, 8:30 pm||Concert & Lecture||White Album Ensemble SOLD OUT|
|June 30, 8:30 pm||Astronomy Lecture||Aaron Barth, UC Irvine SOLD OUT|
|July 1, 8:30 pm||Concert & Lecture||Jasmine String Quartet|
|July 14, 8:30 pm||Astronomy Lecture||Mark Ammons, L. Livermore NL SOLD OUT|
|July 15, 8:30 pm||Concert & Lecture||Tingstad and Rumbel
|July 28, 8:30 pm||Astronomy Lecture||J. Xavier Prochaska, UCSC SOLD OUT|
|July 29, 8:30 pm||Concert & Lecture||Ars Minerva|
|August 11, 8 pm||Astronomy Lecture||Andreas Burkert, LMU Munich SOLD OUT|
|August 12, 8 pm||Concert & Lecture||Charged Particles|
|August 25, 8 pm||Astronomy Lecture||Vardha Bennert, Cal Poly SLO SOLD OUT|
|August 26, 8 pm||Concert & Lecture||Virginia Kron & Kim Robertson|
Tickets for the general public will go on sale on Wednesday, April 12 at noon through ucsctickets.com. Tickets are again expected to sell out in record time.
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 program may be difficult for children under 12. The event will take place rain or shine.
As a thank you for supporting the observatory, you'll get special access to purchase tickets one week before the general public (the deadline for becoming a FoLO member and to enjoy this member benefit was April 1st, 2017 for the 2017 Summer Series). To receive updates and news from us, please join our mailing list.
Starting April 23, Lick Observatory is offering monthly "behind the scenes" style walking tours in the evening to the general public. A highlight of the tour will be visiting the dome of the 3-meter Shane Telescope to see the mountain’s largest telescope up close.
The exhibition "Look Back in Time: Russell Crotty and Lick Observatory" opens on Sunday, November 13th, 2016 at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose and runs through February 26, 2016. The solo exhibition features new work of Russell Crotty as well as a selection of previous work based on astronomical observations.
International team reports the biggest haul of new worlds yet uncovered by NASA's K2 mission, including many worlds that could potentially support life.
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:
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.
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!
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.Learn More