::Lowell Observatory


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Lowell Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. Lowell Observatory was established in 1894, placing it among the oldest observatories in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.<ref name="nhlsum"/><ref name="nrhpinv">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }} and Accompanying six photos, exterior, from 1964 and 1976</ref> In 2011, the Observatory was named one of "The World's 100 Most Important Places" by TIME. It was at the Lowell Observatory that the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.

The Observatory's original {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} Alvan Clark & Sons Telescope is still in use today for public education. Lowell Observatory hosts 85,000 visitors per year at their Steele Visitors Center, who take guided daytime tours and view various wonders of the night sky through the Clark Telescope and other telescopes. It was founded by astronomer Percival Lowell of Boston's well-known Lowell family and is overseen by a sole trustee, a position historically handed down through the family. The first trustee was Lowell's third cousin Guy Lowell (1916–1927). Percival's nephew Roger Putnam served from 1927–1967, followed by Roger's son Michael (1967–1987), Michael's brother William Lowell Putnam III (1987–2013), and current trustee W. Lowell Putnam.

The observatory operates several telescopes at three locations in the Flagstaff area. The main facility, located on Mars Hill just west of downtown Flagstaff, houses the original {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} 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 & Sons and then shipped by train to Flagstaff. Also located on the Mars Hill campus is the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} 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 {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} southeast of Flagstaff, including the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} Perkins Telescope (in partnership with Boston University) and the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} John S. Hall Telescope. Lowell is a partner with the United States Naval Observatory and Naval Research Laboratory in the Navy Precision 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.

Past Anderson Mesa, on the peak of Happy Jack, Lowell Observatory has also built and is commissioning the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} Discovery Channel Telescope in partnership with Discovery Communications, Inc.

Lowell Observatory sections
Intro  History (see discoveries below)   Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT)    Current research    Notable discoveries   See also   References    External links   

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