Wieckowski, South Bay legislators honor Lick Observatory on its 130th Anniversary

July 23, 2018

SAN JOSE – State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) presented a state resolution today to University of California, Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal and staff, faculty and community leaders on behalf of the South Bay legislative delegation in honor of the 130th Anniversary of the Lick Observatory. The presentation took place at the observatory’s 36-inch Great Refractor telescope.

“Human progress does not end with us looking up at the stars, but rather challenging ourselves to define what the next frontier will be,” said Wieckowski, the chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. “We are here to recognize Lick for being a resource for our state for more than a century, and we are grateful to the team who continues to maintain this observatory. The research and educational programs here not only broaden our horizons, they inspire students who will become the next generation of astronomers.” 

Lick serves astronomers from all eight University of California astronomy campuses, as well as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The University of California owns and operates the facility. It began operations in 1888 and was founded by a bequest from James Lick. The gift was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of science.

Lick Observatory’s users range in age from undergraduates to the most senior astronomers in the UC system, according to Lick’s website. More than 100 observers are pursuing science programs at Lick at any given time. It is also the UC’s chief site for testing new technologies and instruments for optical astronomy.

The observatory, located on Mt. Hamilton, is visited by about 35,000 children and adults each year.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes parts of Santa Clara County and southern Alameda County.