June 5, 2019 / Modified jun 5, 2019 11:55 a.m.

Lowell Observatory marks 125th anniversary with 3-day celebration

The Flagstaff observatory, which took part in confirming the expansion of the universe, has embarked on a multiyear expansion plan.

Lowell observatory rotunda Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.
Lowell Observatory via Fronteras Desk

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PHOENIX — Pluto has made half an orbit around the sun since 1894, when well-to-do Bostonian Percival Lowell came to the frontier town of Flagstaff in Arizona Territory to build a Mars observatory.

Since then, scientists and instruments on and off Mars Hill have joined in the discovery of Pluto and its atmosphere, and helped confirm the rings of Uranus and the expansion of the universe.

Today, Lowell Observatory manages more than 10 telescopes, including the 169-inch Discovery Channel Telescope near Happy Jack.

The observatory, which has embarked on a multi-year expansion plan, will mark its quasquicentennial with a three-day celebration from June 6-8.

Arizona Science Desk
This story is from the Arizona Science Desk, a collaborative of the state's public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Arizona Science Desk.
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