Lick Observatory lies high on a mountaintop overlooking Silicon Valley. Known for major contributions to astronomy, it also has some unusual features. Its benefactor James Lick is buried under the Great Refractor, and the observatory's original seismogram of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake is on display.Lick Observatory - 10 Fascinating Facts
The Great Refractor was once the largest telescope of its kind, and today it's still the second largest. A refracting telescope focuses incoming light using two lenses. The disks for the Lick Refractor were made in France, but made into lenses by Clark & Clark in Massachusetts. They then traveled to California by rail and up Mount Hamilton by horse and carriage. One of the lenses broke in transit, and it took nearly two decades to get a replacement.