Last month something near and dear to many of us — Lick Observatory perched atop Mt. Hamilton in hills of east San Jose — was placed on the UC’s chopping block. From the KQED article (linked below):
On top of Mount Hamilton, east of San Jose, the Lick Observatory is home to the oldest professional telescope in California. In 1888 it was the most powerful telescope in the world, built from pieces brought up the mountain by mule train. Now there are nine telescopes, but the “Great Lick Telescope” is the one that draws the big crowds. Garth Illingworth is an astronomy professor at UC Santa Cruz and an astronomer at the UC Observatories, which operates Lick. Staring up at the Victorian wonder, Illingworth says, “Astronomers worked very differently in those days. We’re so used to looking at digital images from cameras. But in those days, a lot of the work was done actually looking through an eyepiece.”
More information (the first two have ways you can help voice your opposition to this closure):
- Official Lick Observatory site.
- Our own NCN AAPT member Pablo Robinson’s “A Call to Arms – ‘Save Lick Observatory‘”
- KQED California Report’s “Venerable Lick Observatory Faces Funding Cut“
- San Jose Mercury News “Lick Observatory’s astronomy research could end“