The Lick Observatory, a world class observatory and historic site, was founded in 1888, and was the first mountain top observatory in the US! It sits high atop Mount Hamilton at 4,200 feet elevation. The property includes historic and important modern research telescopes, beautiful architecture, and breathtaking views of the valley below and sky above like no other!
The first class meeting takes place at the Cabrillo planetarium to explore basic astronomical concepts, historic and modern instruments and methods. A discussion of astronomical history and the development of telescopes will help prepare students to get the most out of our evening at the Lick Observatory.
Our second class meeting at the Lick Observatory includes a guided walking tour, a lecture on the history of Lick: the man and the observatory, and a visit to the dome of the famous 36 inch refractor. Weather permitting, we will look through this awesome instrument. It was once the largest—and remains the 2nd largest refracting telescope in the world!
Please note, the trip to Lick Observatory includes 365 turns as you wind your way up Mount Hamilton road to the observatory!
Plan to take it slow and take in the views as you make your way up the mountain. You may even plan to arrive at the site early for a picnic dinner as you enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the bay area you’ll ever see!
Bring warm clothes; the nights can be quite cool.