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Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. One of our generous supporters has called us "the people's observatory." We think that is a good description of our twin commitment to excellence in research and public outreach.


Lowell is one of the major astronomical research facilities in the United States

Our astronomers conduct research on a wide range of solar system and astrophysical topics using ground-based, airborne, and space-based telescopes. Among our many current programs are studies of planets forming around young stars, surveys of near-Earth asteroids, investigations of the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune, a decades-long study of the variability of the Sun, and investigations of star formation and other processes in distant galaxies.

We also design and build custom instrumentation for use on our telescopes, including the 72" Perkins reflector shown at left. Another major current project is a sophisticated high-speed camera for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). SOFIA is a joint project of the United States and German space agencies and features a 2.5-meter telescope on board a Boeing 747. Lowell scientists also work as official partners on missions including the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kepler Mission, a search for Earth-sized planets outside the solar system.

Explore our research pages to learn more about our astronomers' projects.

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Visit Lowell

Join us in the evenings for telescope viewing, widescreen multimedia shows, and tours of the Universe with our 3D space theatre – all while enjoying the clear mountain air and dark skies over Flagstaff.


Photo: Jeremy Perez.

During the day, we offer guided tours, exhibits, and viewing of the Sun with a specially equipped telescope.


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