Dr. Ammons is an astronomer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He joined the laboratory in 2011 after visiting the University of Arizona on a Hubble Fellowship and receiving his PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dr. Ammons' research focuses on detection and characterization of planets outside of our solar system through adaptive optics and astrometry. The number of known exoplanets has skyrocketed as telescopes and instrumentation have improved - and with adaptive optics, it is now possible to measure the chemical compositions of giant planets in wide orbits. Dr. Ammons is a member of the Gemini Planet Imager science team and the Thirty Meter Telescope Exoplanets Science Definition Team.
|7:30 p.m.||Doors Open||Brief Telescope Visits|
|8:30 p.m.||Science Talk, Lecture Hall||History Talk, Great Refractor|
|9:30 p.m.||Science Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall||Telescope Viewings|
|10:30 p.m.||History Talk (repeated), Great Refractor||Telescope Viewings|
|1:00 a.m.||Doors Close|
Driving to Lick Observatory
Please allow a one-hour drive from San Jose. The road is good, but windy. The event typically lasts between 4 and 6 hours; prepare to drive home late in the evening. There are no automative services or gas stations for 20 miles, so please plan ahead. See more information on driving directions and parking here.
Casual, comfortable clothing and walking shoes. A sweater or light coat is recommended.
Please be careful when walking around in the dark outside; bringing a flashlight is recommended. Children under age 8 are not allowed at this event, and it may be unsuitable for children under the age of 12 due to late hours.
The large telescopes will be available for viewing as soon as the sky is dark. Telescopes will remain open until every guest has had an opportunity to see through both the 36-inch Great Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope.
In order to view through the telescopes, guests will receive a numbered pass at the door. Guests with the lowest telescope numbers are admitted to the telescopes first - so we recommend getting to the observatory early! Please note: Due to historic construction of the telescope domes, the 36-inch Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope are not wheelchair accessible at this time.
Volunteer amateur astronomers also set up ground telescopes in the back parking so guests can view additional cosmic objects.
Lick Observatory souvenirs and astronomy merchandise will be available for purchase between 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. You can also visit our Gift Shop online 24/7.
Snacks and beverages will be available near the Nickel Telescope. Vending machines and fountain water are also available.
We strive to make your visit as complete and meaningful as possible. Please let us know if you will need special assistance (for example, if you will have difficulty climbing stairs), so we can make the necessary arrangements.
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