This is the C. Donald Shane 3m reflector telescope at Lick Observatory.
It was quite dark inside the dome, hence the poor image quality and noise. Frankly I’m amazed I managed to get this much out of it. And thats before I point out that this is a stitched panorama. Although I can’t remember if I used the tripod or not, I probably did, I had it with me and even off the tripod this would be a hard stitch.
This is another one of the domes at Lick, this one is situated a short distance from the main complex on a neighboring hilltop.
I liked the view of it nestled among the trees.
This is the main entrance and old main Dome at Lick Observatory. There is another smaller dome out of frame to the left.
The main dome holds the old 90cm refracting telescope on which the observatory was established.
It’s not obvious from the photo (which is a good thing), but this is one of the few photos where I have corrected the perspective of a close tall structure so the edges don’t slope in as much.
The trick to that operation is not straightening them up entirely, the brain expects the walls to slope a bit and if you straighten them too much it looks wrong.
There are two main sites at the Lick observatory with a short walk between them. This is the view of the second newer site from the older original site.
The big dome houses the C. Donald Shane telescope, the largest telescope at the site, with a 3m reflector.
The first panorama was taken from the south west corner of the main complex and sweeps 220deg from the south east at left all the way around to the north at right.
This second one was taken from the north west corner of the main complex and goes 160deg from the south west at the left around to the north east at the right.
With the full rotator setup these are actually disturbingly easy to stitch, since the rotator minimizes the parallax effects the stitching software can pretty much be trusted to do the right thing.
The individual photos were taken portrait at 28mm (35equiv), that gives a horizontal field of view of 45deg per image (and a vertical of 60). With a 50% overlap 220deg requires stitching 9 separate shots.
We selected Lick observatory as a destination because it was visible from work, perched on top of the hills.
The theory was that if we could see the observatory from work then from the observatory we’d be able to see basically everything.
The views did not disappoint.
For reasons I don’t understand there are a lot of bugs around the Mount Hamilton, Lick observatory site.
This particular ladybug thought the leg of my tripod would make a good landing site.
Turns out it’s quite hard to shoot macro single handed while using the other arm to hold the tripod up to the camera.