All of the heavy materials for the dome and telescope mounting were hauled up the mountain by wagon team and lifted into place with simple mechanical aids.

However if a fire came from another direction, all bets off. Lick Observatory Photographs; ... Home Lick Observatory Records Digital Archive Crocker Telescope Reference URL Share . After seeing what happened at Mt. Sky & Telescope, Night Sky, and are registered trademarks of AAS Sky Publishing LLC. Firefighters are just amazing in both Australia and the US, especially as they interchange counties and travel in the cooler winter months in both hemispheres. Most of the major structures at the observatory were saved, including all of the telescopes and their domes, but some of the residences were damaged and there will be high costs associated with rebuilding damaged infrastructure. Obscured by another building, the dormitory is visible on the left.

Crocker expeditions from the Lick Observatory were located in Labrador, in Spain, and in Upper Egypt, with the principal motive the obtaining of coronal photo-245. The Lick Observatory, a major astronomical institution outside San Jose, has survived a devastating California wildfire mostly unscathed. A strike team has been stationed at Lick to deal with potential day-time flare-ups from remaining hot spots.

December 13, 2012, By: AAS Nova September 4, 2020 On September 2nd, Calfire indicated that the SCU lightning complex fire was more than 70% contained and would be fully contained by sometime on Thursday, September 3rd. For more information, tune in to a special virtual event on Tuesday, August 25, from 4 to 4:45 p.m., at Visible are also the Astrograph dome, the APF dome, the 36" refractor and the Crossley domes. The Lick Observatory building was designed by architect S.E. Sky & Telescope is part of AAS Sky Publishing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Astronomical Society. ©2020 Regents of the University of California. More information is available online at

Hamilton staff will join her to help provide updates on known damage and potential future repairs, as well as science timelines and priorities. Recently, fires threatened the Lick Observatory complex outside of San Jose, as the SCU Lightning Complex Fire swept across the area east of San Francisco Bay and California Central Valley region. One residence that was not being used did burn completely, and several other residences sustained some structural damage, as well as smoke and water damage.

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You can also start from the Lick Observatory website. Copyright ©2020 AAS Sky Publishing LLC.

Lick Observatory Superintendent Kostas Chloros described very high and hot flames surrounding Kepler Peak, but it appears all structures in the area were spared.

The construction of the Lick Observatory building began in January 1880 under the direction of Thomas Fraser, James Lick's agent.

That fire rushed up Mount Stromlo and engulfed the observatory in less than an hour, barely giving staff enough time to evacuate.

Some key areas were left unburned last night, and firefighters are concerned that the fire may circle back. July 31, 2014, By: Camille M. Carlisle

June 24, 2009, By: Bob King Look at how close the fire got! Visible are also the Astrograph dome, the APF dome, the 36" refractor and the Crossley domes.

There is a separate tour of NASA Ames' Crocker Dome on Mt. UC Observatories Director Claire Max said firefighting units from Cal Fire and other organizations were stationed at Lick Observatory all night, using the observatory’s buildings as a command center and as a safety zone for the crews. The fire has burned an estimated nearly 400,000 acres thus far, and it came dangerously close to the main domes around August 19–20.

San Jose State University Special Collections & Archives, Series I, Box 6, Folder: Lick Observatory. Stromlo in Canberra, Australia in 2003, and the fright of the Australian Astronomical Observatory Wambelong Fire in 2013, and the more wide spread ones in 2020, the fear is very real. Last modified: August 24, 2020, UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, Ca 95064.

To the right, one of the domes of the main building is visible. To level the top of Mount Hamilton, Fraser had the top thirty feet of the mountain removed with black powder explosives. Lick Observatory viewed from Kepler peak.

Discoveries made at Lick include the discovery of Jupiter’s tiny moon Amalthea by astronomer Edward Barnard on the night of September 9, 1892.

By: David Dickinson All rights reserved.

Hamilton sustained some damage, but fire crews have so far been able to protect the observatory’s telescope domes and visitor center.

The clear, dry mountaintop skies of the southwestern United States are a mecca for astronomers. Alas, that would be a premature claim: our fire season peaks in September and October, so we have a way to go before we can say the danger has passed. Home / 2020 / August / UC’s Lick Observatory threatened by fire, Residences on Mt. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Todd of Washington, DC, in the Italian Renaissance style with the use of deep entablatures and moldings, and a pediment over the west door.

This 2020 California wildfire season has been a bad one, the second-worst on record. Currently, the fire evacuation status order for the Mount Hamilton region has not been lifted.

Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. As a historical landmark, an active research facility, and a site for public outreach and education, Lick is irreplaceable. But these pristine conditions come at a cost, as these regions are also “wildfire magnets” for primarily the same reasons. Tour August's Sky: Sagittarius and Scorpius.


Although skies aren’t as dark as they once were at Lick, due to encroaching light pollution from the Bay area, the site remains a valuable resource for public outreach in science and astronomy. The facility also houses the 36-inch Great James Lick refractor, the largest operational refracting telescope in the world until the 40-inch Yerkes refractor saw first light in 1897. All observatory staff and Mt. Still, lessons learned will go long way towards management and protecting these mountaintop astronomical assets in the future, and the pursuit of scientific progress. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. That fire rushed up Mount Stromlo and engulfed the observatory in less than an hour, barely giving staff enough time to evacuate. By: Kelly Beatty Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

One only has to remember the tragic 2003 Canberra firestorm in Australia that wiped out the Mount Stromlo Observatory established in 1924 to realize the magnitude of what could happen.

Workers then moved, by hand, an estimated 40 thousand tons of rock they had loosened. April 27, 2016, By: Kelly Beatty Lick Observatory is operated by the University of California Observatories (UCO), a multi-campus research unit that serves eight UC campuses and is headquartered at UC Santa Cruz. I'm very grateful to the firefighters who saved Lick Observatory., TechnologyDormitoriesDomesAstronomical observatoriesLick Observatory, 1915; 1916; 1917; 1918; 1920; 1921; 1922; 1923; 1924; 1925, DormitoriesDomesAstronomical observatories. UCO Director Claire Max will answer questions about the wildfires impacting Lick Observatory. July 31, 2008. Founded in 1888, Lick Observatory is at the forefront of astronomical research as an active research facility. All Rights Reserved. Other Lick astronomers went on to discover three more moons orbiting Jupiter. Sexual Violence Prevention & Response (Title IX). With a global pandemic, hurricanes, and fires (not to mention a recent mishap at Arecibo), 2020 has been a rough time for the astronomical community, and humanity in general. “Thanks to their tremendous efforts, the telescope domes did not burn,” Max said.

The Lick Observatory building was designed by architect S.E. Hamilton, used for the Vulcan photmetric planet search. Thanks for this report. 4, Yes, I would like to receive emails from Sky & Telescope. “CalFire used Lick both as a command post and a safety zone, so that there were firefighters onsite night and day for several days straight.”.

November 20, 2018, By: Kelly Beatty Lick Observatory (University of California, Santa Cruz) LOTS of clickable pictures, four clear thumbnails per page almost make you think you're on Mount Hamilton.

Scanned with Microtek Scanmaker 1000XL Pro; as a 600 dpi TIFF image in 8-bit Grayscale. Founded in 1876, Lick Observatory is home to nine telescopes, including the Shane 3-meter reflector, the Anna Nickel 39-inch reflector and the 30-inch Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT). As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the University of California’s Lick Observatory appeared to have escaped serious damage as the SCU Lightning Complex Fire swept across Mt. Fires devastated much of California this summer season, brought on by dry conditions coupled with widespread lightning strikes from Tropical Storm Fausto in mid-August. To help address these needs, gifts can be made to the UCO Director's Discretionary Fund. Information about the fire is also being posted on the Lick Observatory Facebook page.

Hamilton residents are safe. Kudos to them for their bravery and protecting our communities.