From Our Editors
Pluto. The solar system's most mysterious planetary body owes its discovery to the Lowell Observatory. It was here, in 1902, that Percival Lowell first suspected the possible existence of the cold, lonely body. However, Pluto isn't the only feather in the observatory's astronomical cap. Lowell astronomers also noted the the first evidence of the expanding universe, and measured the motions and properties of distant stars. In the 21st century, a staff of over 100 continues to look skyward in search of scientific breakthroughs.
Visitors can interact with these achievements at the Steele Visitor Center. Opened during the observatory's centennial year in 1994, the center carries on Percival Lowell's astronomy advocacy by welcoming more than 80,000 guests each year. In addition to tours and lectures, guests can peer through telescopes, visit engrossing exhibits, and take in educational multimedia shows.
In addition to celebrating their heritage, the astronomers at the Lowell Observatory are also looking towards the future. In 2012, they celebrated the completion of the Discovery Channel Telescope. The 4.3-meter scope opens an even wider eye into the secrets of the universe and expands the possibility of discovery for the observatory's team of scientists. The telescope also serves the public good, lending its breathtaking images to programming produced by Discovery Communications.