Lick Observatory Public Evening Tour

Our “behind the scenes” style 4 – 6 hour walking tour of Lick Observatory will start at the main building’s Visitor Center. Participants can learn about the unique history of the world’s first permanently occupied mountaintop observatory, the eccentric California pioneer James Lick, technology used for observing on different telescopes along the tour route, and current science being conducted at Lick Observatory.

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. After the walking tour, there will be an opportunity to enjoy the sunset, and the Gift Shop will be open. During twilight, a history lecture about James Lick and the construction of the observatory will be presented. Once the sky is dark (and weather permitting), viewing celestial objects through the historic 36-inch Great Refractor Telescope will commence. Insights will be provided throughout the evening on how we find planets beyond our solar system, how exploding stars teach us about the evolution of the universe, how we discern the nature of galaxies and black holes, how new technologies are used to undo the blurring effects of Earth’s atmosphere, and about Lick Observatory’s rich astronomical history and bright scientific future.

Complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are included with the tour. The event will last approximately 4 to 6 hours. Visitors should be prepared to walk about one mile during the evening, including taking stairs. Events are held rain or shine.

Sunday, August 28, 2022 at 6:00pm

Lick Observatory 7281 Mt Hamilton Road, Mt Hamilton, CA 95140

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Invited Audience

General Public


Academic, Research, Science & Technology



$75 General Admission

UC Observatories
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