July 1, 2017

8:30 p.m.

Performer: Jasmine String Quartet

Astronomy Speaker: Dr. Martin Gaskell, UC Santa Cruz

Concert Information

Jasmine String Quartet

Together for decades, the Jasmine String Quartet is versatile and experienced.  Whether performing classical music for special events, recording popular music in studios or playing backup for artists such as John Denver at the Mountain Winery, the Jasmine Quartet enjoy every new challenge that comes their way.  Their standard repertoire includes the music of classical giants like Mozart and Beethoven as well as selections representing more modern styles. Individually, the Jasmine musicians perform professionally in local venues such as the California Theater, the Center for the Performing Arts and San Jose State University in San Jose and have travelled far beyond the South Bay to share their passion for music with other communities.   The Jasmine String Quartet is excited about performing at the Lick Observatory as part of the 2017 Music of the Spheres season!

Lecture Information:

"Supermassive black holes: the most powerful objects in the universe.”


Dr. Martin Gaskell

His primary research interests are in theoretical and observational studies of what happens around the most bizarre objects in the universe: supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. As matter spirals into these black holes, it produces a tremendous release of energy as what is called an "active galactic nucleus" or AGN for short. AGNs are the main growth phase of supermassive black holes and, paradoxically, they can produce the most powerful energy sources in the universe (more powerful than an entire galaxy of stars). Because they are so luminous they can be seen far away back in the early days of the formation of galaxies when the universe was Young. He is particularly interested in what the structure of AGNs is like, how the matter moves close to the black hole, and what the physical processes are which cause the matter to be accreted by the black holes and produce the intense radiation seen. The aim is to understand how AGNs work and how black holes grow. We need to know this in order to be able to determine the masses of the black holes, to study how supermassive black holes have evolved during the history of the universe, and to understand their relationship to galaxies like our own Milky Way. Martin Gaskell likes to work at the interface of theory and observation. His research involves observations with giant telescopes on the ground, satellites in space, computer simulations, and sometimes just good old fashioned pencil and paper. A lot of his work involves collaborations with astronomers in Europe, China, Chile, and elsewhere.


Ticket Information

Join Friends of Lick Observatory (FoLO) and Get Tickets Early
If you'd like to purchase tickets as early as noon on April 5th, 2017, join our Friends of Lick Observatory (FoLO) program. As a thank you for supporting the observatory, you'll get special access to purchase tickets before they go on sale for the general public on April 12th at noon at ucsctickets.com.

Ticket Packages

General Admission: $45

Ticket includes concert seating, astronomy lecture, view through the Great Refractor telescope, view through the Nickel Telescope and souvenir wine glass or mug.

Preferred Guest: $90

Ticket includes preferred concert seating, astronomy lecture, preferred viewing through the Great Refractor telescope, preferred viewing through the Nickel Telescope, souvenir wine glass or mug, 20% discount at the gift shop.

VIP: $210

Ticket includes private group tour of the Shane Telescope before the concert, catered buffet dinner with wine in our historic Dining Hall, front center concert seating, astronomy lecture, priority viewing through the 36-inch Great Refractor, priority viewing through the 40-inch Nickel Telescope, souvenir wine glass or mug and 20% Discount at our gift shop.

More Ticket Information

Due to the historic construction of the telescope domes and safety concerns, the 36-inch Great Refractor Telescope and the 40-inch Nickel Telescope are not wheelchair accessible at this time. Those who have difficulty navigating stairs may also find the telescopes inaccessible. Funds are being raised through the Friends of Lick Observatory to repair the elevating floor of the Lick 36-inch telescope to re-enable handicap access.

Tickets are non-refundable. Please be advised that unpredictable weather patterns may restrict telecope viewings, though lectures, concerts and other activities will still take place.

Due to safety regulations, children must be at least 8 years of age for admission and accompanied by an adult. Due to late program hours, the program may be difficult for children under 12.

Program Information

7:30 p.m. Doors Open Brief Telescope Visits
8:30 p.m. Concert, Main Hall
9:30 p.m. Science Talk, Lecture Hall Telescope Viewings
10:30 p.m.     Science Talk (repeated), Lecture Hall     Telescope Viewings
1:00 a.m.     Doors Close


Driving to Lick Observatory
Please allow a one-hour drive from San Jose. The rood 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.

Recommended Attire
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.

Gift Shop
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.

Map Lick Observatory

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