Fires burned around the historic Lick Observatory on the night of Aug. 19, 2020. Fires have so far spared the 133-year-old University of California-run James Lick Observatory atop Mt. The Marsh Fire is threatening Lick Observatory. Smoke from the Canyon Zone fire and then the more-threatening Marsh Fire, which rode an unforgiving wind south toward the observatory, shrouded the sky for hours. Superintendent Kostas Chloros on Mt. Lick Observatory … Founded in 1888 by real estate mogul James Lick, then California’s richest rich person, Lick was the world’s first mountaintop observatory. The HamCam1 camera is mounted on the top of the Lick Observatory Main Building and points northwest. In the aftermath of the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, which swept across Mt. The fire reached the observatory grounds in the early afternoon August 19th and continues to affect the observatory and surrounding areas this morning. Hamilton was spared by wildfires. Despite serious threats from the SCU Lightning Complex wildfires burning across Mt. CalFire and supporting agencies have vehicles stationed at Lick Observatory and are doing their best to protect the facility and the surrounding ranches and parks. Hamilton area of California. ... Lick Observatory … Losing Lick Observatory to the fires would indeed be tragic- As young teenagers in the mid-60s, our small astronomy club got tickets for one of the public night visits there at Lick, and incredibly it was on a night that Saturn's rings were perfectly edge-on. So, Friends of Lick Observatory (FoLO), a local organization that provides volunteers and funding for community outreach events at the observatory, has designated $75,000 to aid in recovery efforts. University of California’s Lick Observatory has survived more than 100 years atop Mt. The upward trek is interrupted by two descents, first into Grant Ranch county park, and again to cross Smith creek. Time-lapse assembled by Elinor Gates from the saved camera images. At more than 100 years old, Lick Observatory was saved due to the tireless work of numerous fire crews. Historic Lick Observatory Survives California Fire A major observatory complex has survived the devastating 2020 California wildfire season. I is still not fully contained. The solution is lasers. Hamilton, the Bay Area’s highest peak. At its worst on August 20th and 21st, the fire came as close as meters from the main domes and was clearly visible via the observatory webcam. James Lick, (born Aug. 25, 1796, Stumpstown [now Fredericksburg], Pa., U.S.—died Oct. 1, 1876, San Francisco), U.S. philanthropist who endowed the Lick Observatory, Mount Hamilton, near San Jose, Calif.. After an incomplete elementary education and an apprenticeship as a carpenter, Lick worked for a year as a piano maker in Baltimore, a trade he resumed after spending 17 years in South America. Lick’s Shane telescope wields an adaptive optics system, which fires a beam into the atmosphere. But it appears the biggest threat to the historic Lick Observatory has passed. Castle and Mitch Burcham. The bicycle ride is about 19 miles (31 km) each way, from the Alum Rock junction. What followed was the famous Great Refractor, a feat of engineering and the largest refracting telescope in the world when it was completed in 1888. To report technical problems with the Lick Observatory web cameras or ask questions about the cameras and use of the images, email hamcam@ucolick.org.hamcam@ucolick.org. By Elijah Mt. Hamilton in August, the University of California’s Lick Observatory is facing major expenses associated with repairing damaged infrastructure. Its burned more than 45,000 acres of forest and brush. Fire south of Lick Observatory - posted in Cloudy Days & Microscopes: Last Monday a fire was accidently started near the northern edge of Henry Coe State Park (Gilroy, California, USA). UCO Special Public Address August 25 Lick Observatory Fire Update August 28th, 2020. Lick Observatory. Hamilton east of San Jose, the University of California's Lick Observatory, its staff and Mt. Director Claire Max talks about the wildfires impact on Lick Observatory. Fires devastated much of California this summer season, brought on by dry conditions coupled with widespread lightning strikes from Tropical Storm Fausto in mid-August. Lick Observatory, the historic telescopes under the majestic white steel dome atop Mount Hamilton, narrowly escaped being consumed by wildfire Wednesday, as fire … From the observatory webcam: https://mthamilton.ucolick.org/hamcam/ Hamilton August 25, 2020, 7:21 PM Thanks to quick-thinking team work, the historic Lick Observatory on Mt. The HamCam1 camera is mounted on the top of the Lick Observatory Main Building and points northwest. Recently, fires threatened the Lick Observatory complex outside of San Jose, as the SCU Lightning Complex Fire swept across the area east of San Francisco Bay and California Central Valley region. He was telling me, about 30 minutes ago, that he is surrounded by major fires and that the famous Lick Observatory was under threat but currently still okay. SCU Lightning Complex Fire Spares Historic Lick Observatory On Mt. The clear, dry mountaintop skies of the southwestern United States are a mecca for astronomers. Courtesy of Lick Observatory) The group has designated $75,000 for the emergency support of wildfire relief efforts at Lick Observatory, where telescopes were saved but infrastructure was damaged In the aftermath of the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, which swept across Mt. The fire reached the observatory grounds in the early afternoon August 19th and continues to affect the observatory and surrounding areas this morning. Ten miles to the north of the historic Lick Observatory, atop Mount Hamilton near San Jose, one such blaze was closing in, and fast: By Tuesday morning, the flames were 6 miles away. Aug 24, 2020 | EOG, Uncategorized. Historical Lick Observatory Surrounded by Wild Fire. Hamilton residents are safe as of Thursday afternoon. Courtesy of Lick Cameras. As of August 26, the complex is only 25 percent contained, and has so far chewed through 365,000 acres, or 570 square miles. Lick Observatory was founded thanks to James Lick, an eccentric California millionaire who dreamed of building a "telescope superior to and more powerful than any telescope yet made." The Lick Observatory operated by the University of California is slowly being encroached upon by a surrounding wildfire in the Mt. Observations of Venus at Lick with the Coude Auxilliary Telescope have been carried out the past few nights and will continue a few days after the Parker Solar Probe flyby. Hamilton, but the raging wildfire had the astronomy research facility under siege. (Image credit: Lick Observatory) The Lick Observatory was built … Cal Fire and other organizations were stationed at Lick Observatory … Please note: Lick Observatory is currently closed for visiting, during the pandemic and the fire recovery. The observatory's Kepler Peak, where several residences are located, was spared as fire crews diffused the potential conflagration overnight. The fire has burned an estimated nearly 400,000 acres thus far, and it came dangerously close to the main domes around August 19–20. Timelapse footage captured by cameras stationed close to the 4,265-foot summit show just how close the flames came to the historic structure,. Address Lick Observatory, 7281 Mount Hamilton Road, Mount Hamilton, CA 95140 As some of you know I have a Son who lives in Livermore, California which is not too far from San Jose. It is called the Lick Fire because someone at Lick Observatory first saw the smoke and called it in. Time-lapse assembled by Elinor Gates from the saved camera images. “Adaptive optics measures the turbulence hundreds or thousands of times a second, and then changes the shape of a special mirror, called the deformable mirror, to take away the blurring,” says Max. Quote The clear, dry mountaintop skies of the southwestern United States are a mecca for astronomers. Hamilton staff joined her to help provide updates on known damage and potential future repair/science timelines and priorities. The 20-mile (32 km) drive from Interstate 680 to Lick Observatory takes about 45 minutes. Staff and residents of Lick Observatory are all safe and accounted for. 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