This historic astronomical observatory is located just east of San Jose on Mount Hamilton, within the Diablo Range. While it is only about 20 miles away, the windy road makes it about 1 hour total in distance from San Jose, so be sure to gas up before you go. (GROUPS: instead of traveling in your large bus, we will schedule smaller shuttles to make the trip, as some corners are a bit too tight for large buses along the way).
Lick Observatory is owned and operated by the University of California and has been active since 1888. It is an active research facility still today, as well as hosting various exhibits for the public and giving access to various telescopes. Here are some 'must dos' while here:
- View the exhibits within the main observatory building.
- Catch one of the 'informal talks' discussing the history of the observatory, happening in the afternoons Thursday-Sunday.
- View the Great Lick Refractor in the 36-inch scope dome.
- Take a short walk to the Shane Dome to view the 120-inch reflector, which is used to view extrasolar planets.
- Enjoy the views of the valley from the parking lot, sitting 4,209 feet up.
- Visit the onsite gift shop and pick up educational materials and/or a stellar souvenir.
If you are here during the summer be sure to sign up for a Summer Series night visit (June - September). The observatory is open year-round, just not at nights.