Lowell Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. 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. In 2011, the Observatory was named one of "The World's 100 Most Important Places" by TIME. The Observatory's original 24-inch (0.61 m) Alvan Clark Telescope is still in use today for public education. Lowell Observatory hosts 80,000 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, 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 III, grandnephew of founder Percival Lowell and son of long-time trustee Roger Putnam. The position of trustee is historically handed down through the family.
“one of the world's 100 most important places”
We went when they were doing a night time view out of the big telescope. They had several smaller telescopes set up to view things and they had the big one set up to view Saturn. It was beautiful. They even set up a smaller one to view Saturn so you could really see the difference in the magnification.
Plan on a couple hours minimum, with two forty five minute shows plus time to explore the exhibits and take in views through the telescopes. Extremely informative and educational presentation. Got the opportunity to see where Apollo 13 landed on the moon, Saturn, Mars, and a star cluster 300,000 light years away - awesome!
This is a really cool facility! I believe its every other night its open to the public! Good for astrophotography although a train comes below and lights up the landscape once per hour!
My kids and I loved it. They had 4 or 5 small telescopes set up to see close things. Than they had 3 big ones, looking at Jupiter and star clusters. My hubby also go a family pass for $60 which would let us in to 2 or 3 more space place in other states. I would do this again anytime.
Great place for a photo-op, especially at night. However, if you're bringing kids be aware that not all the shows are kid-friendly. Also, before you pay, ask if there's going to be a telescope viewing. Try to visit during a clear sky evening. And remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.
I was in Phoenix for work and made a trip to Flagstaff on a weekend. I toured the Hubble exhibit, walked the grounds, and saw a lecture on young exoplanets before catching views of the stars by eye and telescope. The combination of historical information and current research is a particularly nice touch. I really enjoyed visit to
We just stopped (during the morning) because my daughter loves space, yet it turned out to be a highlight of our road trip. The Pluto was discovered here along with other astro milestones. Wish we could have stayed into the night.
Stopped in with my space loving kids and ended up spending a few hours here. I'm so glad we stopped. We got more than we expected. Gave a 4/5 because the interactive section (which is really cool in theory) kept freezing up or was not working. The tours and talks were very informative.
If this place isn't in your trip already, put it there! It was a really great and informative place. A lot of fun!
Unfortunately, our road trip got off course on the timing. We didn't arrive at the observatory until an hour before closing time. My daughter LOVED IT. She's only 3 1/2 but has always been fascinated with the moon, stars, and sun. She was able to look through two of the large telescopes several times, she kept asking to go look again. Wish he has had it there earlier to have the time to enjoy it all. We will be back next time we are in the area. My daughter now wants her own telescope. It was my daughters favorite part of out trip, my mother and I also really enjoyed it.
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