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Sunglasses, Viking Navigation and Astronomy with Polarimetry

Daniel Cotton

Each year Lick Observatory brings world-renown musicians and astronomers to the summit of Mount Hamilton for a musical night to remember.

The event activities include:

  • Concert
  • Astronomy talk by world-renowned scientists
  • Viewing through the historic 36-inch Great Lick Refractor telescope
  • Viewing through the 40-inch Nickel Reflector telescope
  • Astronomy discussions with amateur astronomers and viewing through small telescopes
Performer: Folias Duo

Polarimetry is perhaps the least well known property of light. It was discovered in the 1800s, but before that it was the key to accurate Viking navigation. Today it is an enabling technology in everyday items like sunglasses. Traditionally, in astronomy, it has been used to understand magnetic fields and the dust between stars, as well as the atmospheres of planets. Recent advances in precision are now enabling new discoveries to be made about the atmospheres of stars as well. In this talk I will describe what polarisation is, and how it is used in each of these areas.

Speaker: Daniel Cotton, Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy

Tickets go on sale at noon, May 8, 2023.  Limit 4 per customer.

Saturday, 06/10/23


Website: Click to Visit


$55 General

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Lick Observatory

7299 Mt. Hamilton Rd
Mt. Hamilton, CA 95140

Phone: 408-274-5061
Website: Click to Visit