At the peak of the fire, Kostas Chloros watched as foot flames consumed the trees behind his home of 23 years as though they were paper. The superintendent of the year-old Lick Observatory, in the hills east of San Jose, stood with his back to its familiar white dome on the afternoon of Aug. He stumbled back to avoid the heat waves. Embers, leaves and burned twigs flew at him.
Lick Observatory - Wikipedia
Lick Observatory , astronomical observatory located about 21 km 13 miles east of San Jose, California , U. Building on Mount Hamilton began in with funds bequeathed four years earlier by a wealthy Californian, James Lick. In the observatory acquired a cm reflecting telescope built by Andrew Common in England and owned by Edward Crossley. In the s its mirror was one of the first large mirrors to be aluminized, providing photographic access to the near-ultraviolet region of the spectrum; in the s the Crossley reflector served as a valuable test bed for developing new techniques in spectrophotometry.
On the forefront of astronomical research since before there was even a road up Mount Hamilton the Lick Observatory is nothing short of an icon, with its foundation set firmly in Silicon Valley innovation and technological prowess. Beyond the stunning views from 4, feet above the valley, the brilliant history of how these giant telescopes were even dreamed up let along how they came to be and the mind blowing discoveries that have taken place with them, just being able to see light years away through the lens is enough to send one into orbit. Add in tours, music series, lectures by leading researchers doing cutting edge work, and other special events and you have one of the most unique and powerful experiences of the city.
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