• darkblurbg
    UC Observatories
    Lick Observatory and Keck Observatory
    provide UC astronomers with world-leading equipment.
  • darkblurbg
    Thirty Meter Telescope
    TMT is scheduled
    for first light in the late 2020s.
  • darkblurbg
    Lick Observatory
    Since 1888, Lick Observatory has been
    at the forefront of astronomical research.
  • darkblurbg
    W. M. Keck Observatory
    UCO acts a managing partner
    of the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Information for Observers:

Calls for Proposals

The University of California Observatories (UCO) is a multi-campus research unit. We operate the Lick Observatory, the technical labs at UC Santa Cruz and UCLA, and we are a managing partner of the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. We are the center for the UC participation in the Thirty-Meter Telescope (TMT) project.

Featured News


  • TMT and GMTO

    More Mystery Objects Detected Near Milky Way’s Supermassive Black Hole

    June 6, 2018

    Astronomers have discovered several bizarre objects at the Galactic Center that are concealing their true identity behind a smoke screen of dust; they look like gas clouds, but behave like stars. A team of researchers led by UCLA Postdoctoral Scholar Anna Ciurlo made their discovery by obtaining spectroscopic measurements of the Galactic Center’s gas dynamics using Keck Observatory’s OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph.

  • TMT and GMTO

    Distant Moons May Harbor Life

    May 30, 2018

    In a paper forthcoming in The Astrophysical Journal, researchers at the University of California, Riverside and the University of Southern Queensland have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life. Their work will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres.

  • TMT and GMTO

    New model explains what we see when a massive black hole devours a star

    May 29, 2018

    A star that wanders too close to the supermassive black hole in the center of its galaxy will be torn apart by the black hole's gravity in a violent cataclysm called a tidal disruption event (TDE), producing a bright flare of radiation. A new study led by theoretical astrophysicists at the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute and UC Santa Cruz provides a unified model that explains recent observations of these extreme events.

  • TMT and GMTO

    NOAO, TIO, and GMTO join forces

    May 21, 2018

    The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization (GMTO), and the Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory (TIO) have embarked on the development of a U.S. Extremely Large Telescope (US-ELT) Program to enhance U.S. scientific leadership in astronomy and astrophysics.