Last Friday (August 3rd), Kathleen and I attended the Music of the Spheres benefit concert series at the Lick Observatory atop Mt. Hamilton.

Lick Observatory Telescope Dome

We had VIP tickets (purchased months in advance), which entitled us to a 1.5 hour tour of some of the facilities, a simple dinner with wine, prime seating at the concert, viewing through the 36-inch refracting telescope, a commemorative wine glass (or mug), and so on.

After the tour was open, we were treated to a bit over an hour of music by the Kurt Ribak Trio. Sitting close to the stage, I was worried about it being too loud, but they had the sound levels just right. And their performance was quite good.

Kurt Ribak Trio

The evening ended with an astronomy lecture and viewing through the old 36 inch telescope.

Telescope getting set up

Finally, we had the opportunity for outdoor viewing with about half a dozen local amateur astronomers and their multi-thousand dollar telescopes. I want one. (I was an Astronomy minor in college, so I've wanted one for a long time...) We got to see Jupiter and three of its innermost moons, a nebula, and a globular cluster.

All in all it was an excellent way to spend a Friday night.

More photos are available in this set: Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory Concert

Posted by jzawodn at August 06, 2007 04:12 PM

Reader Comments
# Jess Sightler said:

Apologies for not being very on-topic. I couldn't find your email address in glancing through the page.

Anyway, is there a site-feed for just your aviation related posts? :)


on August 6, 2007 07:46 PM
# whoops said:

the lick observatory and its surrounding area are very cool. we live about a thirty minute drive from there. you would have passed by grant ranch on your way up, a hidden gem that is very underused and is my favorite place to trail run. you can easily stitch together a thirty mile run in there without seeing another person.

the community that operates the observatory is unique. due to their isolation, they are very self-sufficient, really the sort of place you could leave your keys in your car.

due to light pollution from the bay area, and advances in newer telescope technology, i wonder how long the lick installation will any case its a great drive up there. the views are unreal. after a rain (when the haze has cleared), you can get out a good pair of binoculars and see things all over the entire bay area.

on August 7, 2007 08:02 AM
# Joe Duck said:

Wow - this sounds like an excellent event.

on August 9, 2007 11:34 PM
# Kurt Ribak said:

Thanks for the nice comments about the music. My group has played twice at the observatory and it is one of my very favorite gigs - the Observatory is a wonderful place and the people there - attendees, staff, and volunteers - are all great.

on August 29, 2007 10:42 AM
# said:

.....the planets!

on July 29, 2008 08:58 AM
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