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|Born||August 25, 1796|
Stumpstown (now Fredericksburg)Pennsylvania
|Died||October 1, 1876 (aged 80)|
San Francisco, California
South American years
- $700,000 to the University of California for the construction of an observatory and the placing therein of a telescope to be more powerful than any other in existence
- $150,000 for the building and maintenance of free public James Lick Baths in San Francisco
- $540,000 to found and endow an institution of San Francisco to be known as the California School of Mechanic Arts
- $100,000 for the erection of three appropriate groups of bronze statuary to represent three periods in Californian history and to be placed before the city hall of San Francisco
- $60,000 to erect in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, a memorial to Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
James Lick telescope
|Organisation||University of California|
|Location(s)||Lick Observatory, San Jose, California, United States|
|Built||First light 1888-01-03|
|Focal length||17.37 m|
- The height of the marble floor of the main building above mean sea level is 4209 feet. On a closely connected peak half a mile to the east of the Observatory, and 50 feet higher, are the reservoirs from which water for household and photographic purposes is distributed. A spring about 350 feet below and one mile to the northeast of the Observatory supplies excellent water. Another peak seven-eighths of a mile to the east is the summit of Mount Hamilton; it is 180 feet higher than the Observatory, and supports the reservoirs supplying power for moving the dome, raising the movable floor, and winding the driving clock of the great telescope. This system receives its supply from the winter rains falling on the roofs; the water being pumped to the reservoirs on the higher peak by means of windmills.
- The movable floor in the dome is the first of the kind to be constructed. It is 60 feet (18 m) in diameter, and can be raised or lowered through a distance of 16 feet (5.0 m), its purpose being to bring the observer within convenient reach of the eye end of the telescope. 1⁄2
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- Amalthea, the fifth satellite of Jupiter was discovered in September, 1892. It revolves around the planet once in 11h 57m 22.6s, and is probably about 100 miles in diameter. It is so difficult to observe that, besides members of the Lick Observatory staff, probably not more than twenty people have seen it.
- The speed of the planetary nebulae in their motions through space is of the same order of magnitude as the speed of the stars.
- Twenty-five comets—17 unexpected and 8 periodic—have been discovered.
- The unequaled Lick series of comet photographs has taught us more as to the structure, formation, and dissolution of comets' tails than had been learned in all previous time.
- About 1300 new double stars have been discovered.
- The period of revolution of the double star delta Equulei has been shown to be 53⁄4 years, the shortest period previously known for any double star being 11.4 years. It is therefore in many ways the most interesting double star under observation.
- Spectroscopic observations have shown that the atmosphere of Mars is of low density—probably much less dense at the surface of Mars than the Earth's atmosphere at the summit of the highest peak in the Himalayas.
- The average speed of the brighter stars is 21 miles per second (34 km/s).
- The North Polar Star was found to be a triple star, in 1899, by means of spectroscopic observations. Two of its members are invisible in our largest telescopes. The bright star and one dark companion revolve around each other in four days; and these in turn revolve around the other dark body in several years.
- Capella was discovered, in 1899, to be a spectroscopic binary star, period 104 days, the two nearly equal components being inseparable in our largest telescopes.
- About 40 spectroscopic binaries—that is, stars seen single in ordinary telescopes, but proven to be double by means of the spectroscope—were discovered in 1898–1902. At least one star in seven has an invisible component, observable thus far only by spectroscopic means.
- About 10,000 nebulae have been discovered in the past at the various observatories; but the Lick photographs show that fully 100,000 nebulae await discovery. These photographs led to the unexpected discovery that the majority of the nebulae have a spiral form—undoubted evidence of their rotation.
- The light of the inner portion of the solar corona is largely inherent, whereas the light of the outer portion is largely reflected sunlight, as proven at the Sumatra eclipse by means of spectroscopic and polariscopic observations.
- It has been shown that the principal "New Stars" have been converted into nebulae.
- The extraordinary motion in the nebula surrounding Nova Persei was discovered from the photograph of November 7–8, 1901.
- Many thousands of very accurate positions of stars have been secured with the meridian circle.
- Very extensive and accurate observations of double stars, comets, planets, etc., have been made.
- Very extensive additions have been made to our knowledge of the spectra of nebulae, of comets, of new stars, of bright-line stars, etc.
- The speeds in the line of sight of about four hundred of the brighter stars in the northern sky have been measured by means of the spectroscope.