Lick Observatory has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a world leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. Pandemics create challenging times for any organization, so how was Lick Observatory was affected by the Spanish Flu in 1918? Research, while hampered by the conditions at the time, continued with the dedicated efforts of William Wallace Campbell, Heber Curtis, and other notable astronomers of the day. I’ll highlight the hot topics of research being done in 1918 and how the observatory persevered through the difficult conditions of that era.
Today in 2020 we are experiencing another devastating pandemic with COVID-19. Shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns have limited Lick Observatory operations. I’ll describe how we have adapted to the current conditions to continue as much research and data acquisition as possible, particularly in the areas of supernovae, exoplanet, and SETI research.
Speaker: Elinor Gates, Lick Observatory
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