MOUNT HAMILTON -- Lick Observatory is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Here's what you need to know if you want to visit the observatory perched atop Mount Hamilton.

  • Hours: From Memorial Day to Labor Day the visitor center is open noon to 5 p.m. daily, and the Shane Telescope Visitor Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

  • The observatory is on Mount Hamilton Road (State Route 130). Allow about one hour from San Jose as the road is winding.

  • Except for special events, the observatory is closed to the public at night to allow the astronomers to work.

    Special events

  • The Friday Night Visitor Program honors the 125th Anniversary of the Great Lick Refractor. Two speakers are featured and guests are invited to view the night sky through the 36-inch Great Refractor and the 40-inch Nickel Reflector telescopes. Ticket price is $9.50 plus service fee

  • Each summer, the public is invited to the Music of the Spheres concert series. The evening event includes a presentation by a University of California astronomer and viewing through the telescopes. Tickets should be procured in advance. Ticket prices are: general, $44.50; preferred, $95.50; VIP, $156.50.

    Because of safety concerns, children younger than 10 are not permitted at evening events.

  • To learn more, call 408-274-5061 (from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday) or check the website, www.ucolick.org/public.