Lick Observatory 'BBQ with the Stars' features renowned UC astronomers

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Sandra Faber
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Alex Filippenko
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Geoff Marcy
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Timothy Ferris

Lick Observatory's "BBQ with the Stars" on Saturday, September 15, will feature a barbeque dinner, live music, astronomy talks, and viewing through the observatory's historic telescopes. Guests will join renowned UC astronomers Sandra Faber, Alex Filippenko, and Geoff Marcy, plus author and science writer Timothy Ferris, for an end-of-summer picnic on Mt. Hamilton.

Tickets to this special event are limited and must be purchased in advance by calling the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159 or online at www.SantaCruzTickets.com. Admission is $60 (plus a ticket service fee), and proceeds benefit Lick Observatory's public programs.

Dinner catered by Bruno's Barbeque (with vegetarian options) will be served from 5 to 7 p.m., followed by astronomy talks and viewing through the telescopes from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Both the Great Lick Refractor and Nickel Reflecting Telescope will be available for viewing the night sky, weather permitting. Musical entertainment will be provided by Silicon Valley's Dr. West, playing live 1970s music, and classical guitar duo Equilibrium.

Sandra Faber, interim director of the University of California Observatories, is an expert on dark matter and galaxy formation and helped diagnose the Hubble Space Telescope's mirror flaw and restore its potential after launch. A UC University Professor, member of the National Academy of Sciences, fellow of the AAAS, and recipient of 5 honorary degrees, she received the 2009 Bower Award for Achievement in Science and the 2012 Bruce Medal for a lifetime of achievement in astronomical research.

Alex Filippenko, co-discoverer of the "accelerating universe" and "dark energy," was ranked as the most-cited researcher in space science for the ten-year period between 1996 and 2006. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he has received numerous honors, including the Carl Sagan Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Carnegie Foundation's U.S. Professor of the Year Award, the Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy. UC Berkeley's student body voted him "Best Professor" nine times.

Geoff Marcy and his group have discovered over 300 planets orbiting around other stars. A coinvestigator on the NASA Kepler mission that recently announced discovery of 1,230 extrasolar planets, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, won the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, was named Discover magazine's 2003 Space Scientist of the Year, and was co-recipient of the Shaw Prize.

Timothy Ferris has been called "the best science writer of his generation." A former newspaper reporter and editor of Rolling Stone magazine, he is the author of a dozen books, including Coming of Age in the Milky Way, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. A two-time winner of the American Institute of Physics science writing award, he is a Guggenheim Fellow and AAAS Fellow, made the phonograph record sent aboard the twin Voyager spacecraft now exiting the solar system, and has taught five disciplines, including astronomy, at four universities.

For more information about this event, call (831) 459-5939.