Aug PASS

Observatory is research ready!

Perkins Dome at Night – Image courtesy of Boston University

After nine years of construction the Lowell Observatory is once again finally ready to do science! The observatory boasts a laundry list of discoveries, including Pluto, the rings of Uranus and the first evidence of the universe expanding. Not that long ago fears existed that the 118-year-old observatory would become a historical institution instead of a research institution.

“The observatory joined forces with television provider Discovery Communications to build a $53 million, 4.3-meter behemoth and bring Lowell and its university partners back to the forefront of astronomical research.”

Bill DeGroff, the telescope’s project manager, said the telescope gives Lowell and the three universities that partnered on the project nearly unprecedented amounts of time on an advanced telescope to track stars and other celestial objects over multiple nights and years.

“You can’t do that on Hubble, you can’t do that on Keck, you can’t do that on Subaru, but we can do that here,” he said, referring to other major telescopes.

Having that level of time and access to an advanced system also makes it easier to obtain grants for further research, DeGroff said.

You can read the full article from azcentral.com here.

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