Lick Observatory, the first continuously inhabited mountain-top observatory in the world, has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. 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. Dr. Gates will highlight the hot topics of research being done in 1918 and how the observatory persevered through the difficult conditions at the time.
Today we are experiencing another devastating pandemic - COVID-19. Shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns have limited Lick Observatory operations. Additionally, the SCU wildfire disrupted operations and almost destroyed the observatory, creating additional challenges for staff and researchers. Dr. Gates will describe how they have dealt with the challenges and adapted to continue as much research and data acquisition as possible, particularly in the areas of supernovae, exoplanet, and SETI research, as well as commissioning new telescopes and instruments.
Speaker: Dr. Elinor Gates is a staff astronomer at Lick Observatory
YouTube link to watch the lecture. It will be recorded and available later at this same link.
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