Monday, May 12, 2014
LIck No More?
University of California astronomers are in a fight over the future of historic Lick Observatory atop Mount Hamilton, where arrays of telescopes spy on stars and galaxies and the Milky Way's far-off exoplanets... The issue involves a recent university decision to end its funding for the observatory within five years - a move UC Santa Cruz astronomers say would force the observatory to close unless they're able to find outside money to keep it open. Despite a long record of advanced research at the 125-year-old observatory, four UC faculty committees and a panel of outside experts ranked Lick lower on their priority lists for long-term university funding than two far more powerful observatories that are being managed jointly by UC Santa Cruz and the California Institute of Technology. The W.M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Big Island, whose twin telescopes are the most advanced in the world, was listed above Lick for UC funding, as was the Thirty-Meter Telescope now being designed by UC and Caltech and slated to be the most powerful ground-based telescope ever built. That project, also in Hawaii, is expected to cost $1.2 billion...
Full story at http://m.sfgate.com/science/article/UC-astronomers-fight-to-save-Lick-Observatory-5470123.php
Will the powers-that-be give Lick another Look?