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Google gives Lick Observatory $1 million

By Robert Sanders
UC Berkeley

(Photo above: Lick Observatory is located atop Mt. Hamilton east of San Jose and is operated by UC Observatories, headquartered at UC Santa Cruz. Photo credit: Laurie Hatch)

Headquartered at UC Santa Cruz, UCO operates Lick and manages UC’s share of the twin 10-meter W. M. Keck Telescopes in Hawaii and the planned Thirty Meter Telescope, which broke ground last year close to Keck on Mauna Kea.

Google Inc. has given $1 million to the University of California’s Lick Observatory in what astronomers hope is the first of many private gifts to support an invaluable teaching and research resource for the state.

The unrestricted funds, spread over two years, will go toward general expenses, augmenting the $1.5 million the UC Office of the President gives annually to operate the mountaintop observatory for the 10-campus UC system.

“Lick Observatory has been making important discoveries while training generations of scientists for more than 100 years,” said Chris DiBona, director of open source for Google. “Google is proud to support their efforts in 2015 to bring hands-on astronomical experiences to students and the public.”

“We at UC highly value Lick Observatory’s unique capabilities,” said Claire Max, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz and interim director of the University of California Observatories (UCO). Headquartered at UC Santa Cruz, UCO operates Lick and manages UC’s share of the twin 10-meter W. M. Keck Telescopes in Hawaii and the planned Thirty Meter Telescope, which broke ground last year close to Keck on Mauna Kea.

“Lick’s telescopes enable science projects that need lots of repeated observations during the course of a year or more; these can be done much more successfully at Lick than at the 8-10-meter telescopes, where observing time is extremely tight,” Max said. “Google’s very generous gift will make it possible for Lick to provide these opportunities and to continue to develop forefront tools such as adaptive optics, which removes image blurring caused by turbulence in Earth’s atmosphere.”

Continue reading article here: http://news.ucsc.edu/2015/02/lick-google-gift.html

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