The San Francisco Bay Area has been blessed with the second-largest refracting telescope ever constructed since 1888. Up until the completion of the Yerkes 40-inch in 1895, it was the largest refractor. The Lick 36-inch is 57 feet long, 4 feet in diameter, weighs over 25,000 pounds, and is housed at the Lick observatory on top of Mount Hamilton in the Diablo range, just East of San Jose, California.
The Lick Observatory is operated by the University of California, with it’s headquarters at the UC Santa Cruz campus. It operates nine research-grade telescopes, the largest of which is the Shane 3-meter reflector, active since 1960.
To help support operations, the Lick Observatory hosts the Music of the Spheres series of evening programs, featuring concerts, lectures, and opportunities to view the night sky through the the observatory’s telescopes.
This year’s schedule has been released, and concerts will take place July 6 and 7, August 3 and 4, and September 7 and 8. See the press release from UC Santa Cruz or the Lick Observatory website for more details.