Mt. Hamilton's Galaxy Gateway



One of the most vertically scenic drives in northern California rockets from the flat land of San Jose upward in a dizzying set of spirals and curves to the summit of Mt. Hamilton and the Lick Observatory . The drive pays off with grand views in all directions of cities, wild lands and the heavens above. People have been looking up from here and out into the cosmos for

about 130 years. This is the place to see how astronomy was practiced in the days of Jules Verne and how it is done today by astronomers associated with the University of California. Both views are interpreted in this scenic outpost of science and history. On our trip, I was impressed by the knowledge, curiosity and enthusiasm of the scientists and the elegant architecture of the old observatory. Although we don't include it in the video we've posted, the road from Mt. Hamilton continues east and then north through a lightly-populated landscape of ranches and rugged mountains and canyons. It is a beautiful drive through one of the least developed portions of the Bay Area. I especially like it during the spring when the hills are green and the flowers are out. The stars are out all year round.


A lot of great science is still going on atop Mt. Hamilton. Tony Misch is still there and suggests that we check out the Lick Observatory’s web links for updated information about projects, technologies and discoveries. After all, Lick is perhaps the world leader in the search for extra-solar planets; circling stars other than our Sun. Jack Shultz is no longer Superintendent of the Lick Observatory. He’s been replaced by Remington Stone who’s the Director of Operations and a research astronomer. The one-room school house has closed and so has the fire station, the families and students are still in residence in this small town at the near edge of the Universe.


Travel straight up to the border crossing between the earth and the stars and oldest observatory anywhere around.
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