Lick Observatory was built in 1888 with the wealth of a thrifty Pennsylvania Dutchman named James Lick, who found gold in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada as well as the booming real estate market fueled by young California's growth.
The telescope he envisioned -- part high-visibility scientific enterprise, part monument to himself -- was to be the best in the world.
But over time, other bigger and newer telescopes, such as Hawaii's Keck Observatory, have better mirrors, so they can see more distant objects.
The following astronomical objects were discovered at Lick Observatory:
-- Moons of Jupiter (Amalthea, Ananke, Elara, Himalia, Lysithea)
-- Near-Earth asteroid (29075) 1950 DA
-- Extrasolar planets, in collaboration with other observatories (Quintuple planet system 55 Cancri, Triple planet system Upsilon Andromedae, Double planet systems HD 38529, HD12661, Gliese 876, 47 Ursae Majoris)
Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 650-492-4098.