Lick Observatory, the first continuously inhabited mountain-top observatory in the world, has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. Research, while hampered by the conditions at the time, continued with the dedicated efforts of some of the notable astronomers of the day. In 2020, the Observatory was hit by both the current pandemic and one of the worst Northern California wildfires in history. Dr. Gates compares how astronomers in 1918 and today have coped with these challenges. [By the way, the public can help these efforts; go to http://bit.ly/lickfriends ]
Dr. Elinor Gates is a staff astronomer at Lick Observatory. Her current research interests are studying quasars and their host galaxies, discovering dust-obscured quasars, and measuring the masses of central black holes in distant active galaxies. Asteroid (2650) Elinor is named in Dr. Gates’ honor.