Lowell Observatory

Lowell Observatory

Infobox Observatory
name = Lowell Observatory

caption = The Clark Telescope Dome on Mars Hill
organization = Private institution
location = Flagstaff, Arizona
coords = coord|35|12|10|N|111|39|52|W|
altitude = 7,250 feet (2175 m)
weather =
established = 1894
closed =
website = [http://www.lowell.edu http://www.lowell.edu]
telescope1_name = Discovery Channel Telescope
telescope1_type = 4.2 meter telescope "(under construction near Happy Jack, Arizona)"
telescope2_name = Perkins Telescope
telescope2_type = 1.8 meter cassegrain telescope "(located at Anderson Mesa)"
telescope3_name = John S. Hall Telescope
telescope3_type = 42" (1.05 m) Ritchey-Chretien telescope "(located at Anderson Mesa)"
telescope4_name = Unnamed telescope
telescope4_type = 31" (0.77 m) reflecting telescope "(located at Anderson Mesa)"
telescope5_name = LONEOS Schmidt Telescope
telescope5_type = 25" (0.62 m) catadioptric "(located at Anderson Mesa)"
telescope6_name = 24" Clark Telescope
telescope6_type = 24" (0.6 m) Alvan Clark refractor
telescope7_name = Unnamed telescope
telescope7_type = 21" (0.52 m) reflecting telescope
telescope8_name = Unnamed telescope
telescope8_type = 18" (0.45 m) astrograph
telescope9_name = John Vickers McAllister Telescope
telescope9_type = 16" (0.4 m) Boller & Chivens cassegrain telescope
telescope10_name = Abbot L. Lowell Astrograph (Pluto Discovery Telescope)
telescope10_type = 13" (0.33 m) astrograph
telescope11_name = Planet Search Survey Telescope
telescope11_type = "(located at Anderson Mesa)"
telescope12_name = Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer
telescope12_type = interferometer "(located at Anderson Mesa, operated in partnership with the USNO)"
Infobox_nrhp | name =Lowell Observatory
nrhp_type =nhl

caption = The Slipher Rotunda Museum at Lowell Observatory
locmapin = Arizona
area =
built =1894
designated= December 21, 1965cite web|url=http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=89&ResourceType=Building
title=Lowell Observatory |accessdate=2007-09-27|work=National Historic Landmark summary listing|publisher=National Park Service
added = October 15 1966cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2007-01-23|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
governing_body = Private
mpsub=Flagstaff MRA (AD)

Lowell Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Lowell Observatory is among the oldest observatories in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.citation|title=PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Text/66000172.pdf National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Lowell Observatory] |533 KiB |author=Marilynn Larew|date=October 31, 1977|publisher=National Park Service and PDFlink| [http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NHLS/Photos/66000172.pdf "Accompanying six photos, exterior, from 1964 and 1976"] |880 KiB ]

The Observatory's original 24-inch Alvan Clark Telescope is still in use today for public education. Lowell Observatory hosts 70,000 visitors per year who take guided daytime tours and view various wonders of the night sky through the Clark Telescope and other telescopes. It was founded in 1894 by astronomer Percival Lowell, and run for a time by his third cousin Guy Lowell of Boston's well-known Lowell family. The current trustee of Lowell Observatory is William Lowell Putnam, grandnephew of founder Percival Lowell and son of long-time trustee Roger Putnam.

The observatory operates several telescopes at two locations in Flagstaff. The main facility, located on Mars Hill just west of downtown Flagstaff, houses the original 24-inch (0.61-meter) Clark Refracting Telescope, although its role today is as a public education tool and not research. The telescope, built in 1896 for $20,000, was assembled in Boston by Alvan Clark and then shipped by train to Flagstaff. Also located on the Mars Hill campus is the 13-inch (0.33-meter) Pluto Discovery Telescope, used by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 to discover the dwarf planet Pluto.

Lowell Observatory currently operates four research telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark sky site, located 12 miles southeast of Flagstaff, including the 72-inch (1.8-meter) Perkins Telescope (in partnership with Boston University) and the 42-inch (1.1-meter) John S. Hall Telescope. Lowell is a partner with the United States Naval Observatory and NRL in the Navy Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) also located at that site. The Observatory also operates smaller research telescopes at its historic site on Mars Hill and in Australia and Chile. Lowell Observatory is currently building the 4.2-meter [http://www.lowell.edu/DCT Discovery Channel Telescope] in partnership with Discovery Communications, Inc.

Discovery Channel Telescope

Lowell Observatory is building a major new telescope in partnership with Discovery Communications near Happy Jack in northern Arizona. The telescope, located within the Mogollon Rim Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest, is expected to be the fifth largest in the continental United States and will allow Lowell astronomers to enter new research areas and conduct existing programs more effectively and efficiently. The DCT and the research it enables also will be the focus of ongoing informative and educational television programs about astronomy, science, and technology airing on [http://www.discovery.com Discovery networks] . In addition, the Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory is expected to have a significant educational and economic impact within the state.

Current research

Lowell Observatory's astronomers conduct research on a wide range of solar system and astrophysical topics using ground-based, airborne, and space-based telescopes. Among the many current programs are a search for near-Earth asteroids, a survey of the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune, a search for extrasolar planets, a decades-long study of the brightness stability of the sun, and a variety of investigations of star formation and other processes in distant galaxies. In addition, the Observatory staff designs and builds custom instrumentation for use on Lowell's telescopes and eleswhere. For example, Lowell staff built a sophisticated high-speed camera for use on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). SOFIA is a joint project of the United States and German space agencies and consists of a 2.5-meter telescope on board a Boeing 747 SP.

Notable discoveries

*The dwarf planet Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.
*Large recessional velocities of galaxies by Vesto Melvin Slipher between 1912 and 1914 (that led ultimately to the realization our universe is expanding).
*Co-discovery of the rings of Uranus in 1977.
*The periodic variation in the brightness of Halley's Comet.
*The three largest known stars.
*The atmosphere of Pluto.
*Accurate orbits for two of Pluto's moons: Nix and Hydra.
*Oxygen on Jupiter's satellite Ganymede.
*Carbon dioxide ice on three Uranian satellites.
*The first Trojan of Neptune.
*Evidence that the atmosphere of HD 209458 b contains water vapor.


*cite journal |title= Lowell,Percival, Pickering, W.H. and the founding of the Lowell Observatory
author= Strauss D.|journal= Annals of Science|volume= 51 |issue=1 | pages=37–58 |year=1994|doi= 10.1080/00033799400200121

External links

* [http://www.lowell.edu/ Lowell Observatory]
* [http://www.lowell.edu/dct/index.php Discovery Channel Telescope]
* [http://cleardarksky.com/c/FlagstaffAZkey.html?1 Flagstaff Clear Sky Clock] Forecasts of observing conditions covering Lowell Observatory.
* [http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceID=89&resourceType=Building National Historic Landmarks Program: Lowell Observatory]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lowell Observatory — Das Lowell Observatorium in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA wurde von Percival Lowell 1894 gegründet, um den Planeten Mars und die von Giovanni Schiaparelli 1877 bis 1879 beobachteten Marskanäle ( Canali ) genauer zu untersuchen. Seit etwa 90 Jahren… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lowell Observatory — the astronomical observatory, situated in Flagstaff, Arizona, at which Pluto was discovered in 1930. [named after P. LOWELL] * * * …   Universalium

  • Lowell Observatory — the astronomical observatory, situated in Flagstaff, Arizona, at which Pluto was discovered in 1930. [named after P. LOWELL] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lowell observatory near-earth-object search — (LONEOS) est un programme dirigé par la NASA et l observatoire Lowell pour découvrir des objets géocroiseurs. Le système LONEOS a commencé les observations en décembre 1997. Le principal chercheur est Ted Bowell. LONEOS utilise un système avec… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search — (LONEOS) was a project designed to discover asteroids and comets that orbit near the Earth. The project, funded by NASA, was directed by Dr. Ted Bowell of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. The LONEOS project began in 1993 and ran until… …   Wikipedia

  • Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search — (LONEOS) était un programme dirigé par la NASA et l observatoire Lowell pour découvrir des objets géocroiseurs. Le système LONEOS a commencé les observations en décembre 1997 et s est achevé en fin février 2008. Le principal chercheur était Ted… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lowell Observatory Near-Earth-Object Search — El Lowell Observatory Near Earth Object Search (LONEOS) es un programa dirigido por la NASA y por el Observatorio Lowell cuya misión es localizar objetos espaciales en órbitas próximas de la Tierra (original: Near Earth Objects). El programa… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Lowell — may refer to:Places;In the United States: * Lowell, Arkansas * Lowell, Florida * Lowell, Indiana * Lowell, Bartholomew County, Indiana * Lowell, Maine * Lowell, Massachusetts **Lowell National Historical Park * Lowell, Michigan * Lowell, North… …   Wikipedia

  • Lowell — ist der Name mehrerer Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Lowell (Arizona) Lowell (Arkansas) Lowell (Florida) Lowell (Georgia) Lowell (Idaho) Lowell (Illinois) Lowell (Indiana) Lowell (Iowa) Lowell (Kalifornien) Lowell (Kansas) Lowell (Kentucky)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lowell,Percival — Lowell, Percival. 1855 1916. American astronomer. He founded the Lowell Observatory in Arizona (1894), where his studies of Mars led him to believe that the planet was inhabited. * * * …   Universalium

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