Prof. J. Xavier Prochaska is an Astronomer and Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of California Observatories and UC Santa Cruz. His research examines the nature of gas both within and outside of galaxies, primarily during the first few billion years of the universe. The analysis relies on high resolution spectroscopy of distant, intrinsically bright sources (quasars, gamma-ray bursts). In this manner, the absence of light is used to study the metallicity, molecular fraction, depletion, ionization state, and velocity fields of gas in the young universe.
|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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