Hamilton sustained some damage, but fire crews have so far been able to protect the observatory’s telescope domes and visitor center. September 4, 2020 Still, lessons learned will go long way towards management and protecting these mountaintop astronomical assets in the future, and the pursuit of scientific progress. UC Observatories Director Claire Max said firefighting units from Cal Fire and other organizations were stationed at Lick Observatory all night, using the observatory’s buildings as a command center and as a safety zone for the crews. “We are tremendously thankful to the firefighters from all over California, whose courageous actions saved Lick Observatory,” says director Claire Max (University of California Observatories). Look at how close the fire got! June 24, 2009, By: Bob King Thanks for this report. San Jose State University Special Collections & Archives, Series I, Box 6, Folder: Lick Observatory. Masons built a kiln next to a clay bed near the summit and fired the bricks for the building. Crocker expeditions from the Lick Observatory were located in Labrador, in Spain, and in Upper Egypt, with the principal motive the obtaining of coronal photo-245. Other Lick astronomers went on to discover three more moons orbiting Jupiter. Sky & Telescope is part of AAS Sky Publishing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Astronomical Society. But these pristine conditions come at a cost, as these regions are also “wildfire magnets” for primarily the same reasons. All observatory staff and Mt. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Copyright ©2020 AAS Sky Publishing LLC. As of 1 p.m. Thursday, the University of California’s Lick Observatory appeared to have escaped serious damage as the SCU Lightning Complex Fire swept across Mt. All rights reserved. Hamilton east of San Jose on Wednesday. Hamilton is located within the Calaveras Zone of the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, which consists of about 20 separate fires burning in steep, rugged terrain throughout five counties. April 27, 2016, By: Kelly Beatty (You can unsubscribe anytime). That fire rushed up Mount Stromlo and engulfed the observatory in less than an hour, barely giving staff enough time to evacuate. Mt. The facility also houses the 36-inch Great James Lick refractor, the largest operational refracting telescope in the world until the 40-inch Yerkes refractor saw first light in 1897. Visible are also the Astrograph dome, the APF dome, the 36" refractor and the Crossley domes. Workers then moved, by hand, an estimated 40 thousand tons of rock they had loosened. July 31, 2008. Mt. The Lick Observatory building was designed by architect S.E. Information about the fire is also being posted on the Lick Observatory Facebook page. Todd of Washington, DC, in the Italian Renaissance style with the use of deep entablatures and moldings, and a pediment over the west door. Crews have been working hard to clear more space around the dome of the Shane 3-meter Telescope and several other nearby structures. December 13, 2012, By: AAS Nova It would be great if we could say that Lick has survived the 2020 Norcal fire season. You can also start from the Lick Observatory website. pic.twitter.com/GcMkmZFG7o, — UC Observatories (@UCObservatories) August 29, 2020. 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. A strike team has been stationed at Lick to deal with potential day-time flare-ups from remaining hot spots. Currently, the fire evacuation status order for the Mount Hamilton region has not been lifted. The large dome to the right houses the Shane 3-m telescope. For more information, tune in to a special virtual event on Tuesday, August 25, from 4 to 4:45 p.m., at https://ucsc.zoom.us/j/98932317498. The construction of the Lick Observatory building began in January 1880 under the direction of Thomas Fraser, James Lick's agent. The clear, dry mountaintop skies of the southwestern United States are a mecca for astronomers. 4, Yes, I would like to receive emails from Sky & Telescope. Lick Observatory (University of California, Santa Cruz) LOTS of clickable pictures, four clear thumbnails per page almost make you think you're on Mount Hamilton. On September 2nd, Calfire indicated that the SCU lightning complex fire was more than 70% contained and would be fully contained by sometime on Thursday, September 3rd. Max emphasized, however, that the danger to the observatory is not yet over. By: David Dickinson One only has to remember the tragic 2003 Canberra firestorm in Australia that wiped out the Mount Stromlo Observatory established in 1924 to realize the magnitude of what could happen. Tour August's Sky: Sagittarius and Scorpius. Scanned with Microtek Scanmaker 1000XL Pro; as a 600 dpi TIFF image in 8-bit Grayscale. Discoveries made at Lick include the discovery of Jupiter’s tiny moon Amalthea by astronomer Edward Barnard on the night of September 9, 1892. However if a fire came from another direction, all bets off. ©2020 Regents of the University of California. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes. “CalFire used Lick both as a command post and a safety zone, so that there were firefighters onsite night and day for several days straight.”. Stromlo in Canberra, Australia in 2003, and the fright of the Australian Astronomical Observatory Wambelong Fire in 2013, and the more wide spread ones in 2020, the fear is very real. “Roads are cleared of debris along with burned trees made unsafe by the fire. Lick Observatory viewed from Kepler peak. More information is available online at www.ucolick.org. Stairs are attached to the side of the dormitory. One residence that was not being used did burn completely, and several other residences sustained some structural damage, as well as smoke and water damage. UC Observatories Director Claire Max said firefighting units from Cal Fire and other organizations were stationed at Lick Observatory all night, using the observatory’s buildings as a command center and as a safety zone for the crews. Home / 2020 / August / UC’s Lick Observatory threatened by fire, Residences on Mt. Founded in 1876, Lick Observatory is home to nine telescopes, including the Shane 3-meter reflector, the Anna Nickel 39-inch reflector and the 30-inch Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT). “Lick Observatory and Mount Hamilton are clear of the main SCU fire front and are in recovery now,” says Max. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. 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. Firefighters are just amazing in both Australia and the US, especially as they interchange counties and travel in the cooler winter months in both hemispheres. graphs separated by the considerable intervals of time, with a view Obscured by another building, the dormitory is visible on the left. “Thanks to their tremendous efforts, the telescope domes did not burn,” Max said. Hamilton, used for the Vulcan photmetric planet search. All of the heavy materials for the dome and telescope mounting were hauled up the mountain by wagon team and lifted into place with simple mechanical aids. Seems all or most of the fuel is gone. Most of the major structures at the observatory were saved, including all of the telescopes and their domes, but some of the residences were damaged and there will be high costs associated with rebuilding damaged infrastructure. http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/butowsky5/astro4b.htm, TechnologyDormitoriesDomesAstronomical observatoriesLick Observatory, 1915; 1916; 1917; 1918; 1920; 1921; 1922; 1923; 1924; 1925, DormitoriesDomesAstronomical observatories.
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