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December 22, 2010

Lowell Names New Director

Flagstaff, Ariz. -- Dr. Jeffrey Hall has been named Director of Lowell Observatory, becoming the 11th director in the Observatory’s 116-year history. Hall accepted the appointment by Sole Trustee of Lowell Observatory, William Putnam, who explained that “Dr. Hall is a solar astronomer of considerable reputation. He has been Deputy Director for the last five years and has my fullest confidence.” Hall has also served as Acting Director since June. Hall received his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Pennsylvania State University in 1991 and has been involved in long term research of the Sun and Sun-like stars since joining the Lowell staff in 1992.

"There's some old statement about 'interesting times,' and it certainly is that at Lowell, especially with a $50,000,000 project approaching completion” explained Hall. “Lowell Observatory’s Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) is forcing us to change and grow rapidly, and that's always difficult. We want that change to be positive not only for us and our partners at Discovery but, through the DCT's uniquely high profile, for Flagstaff and northern Arizona as well. Looking at our staff, I couldn't imagine a better group of people to make that happen."

The Discovery Channel Telescope is scheduled to see “first light” late next year and will significantly expand Lowell astronomers’ research capabilities, while bringing the world of astronomy to subscribers of Discovery Communication’s channels worldwide.


Chuck Wendt, Lowell Observatory, (928) 233-3201, cwendt[at]lowell[dot]edu

About Lowell Observatory

Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of many important findings including the discovery of the large recessional velocities (redshift) of galaxies by Vesto Slipher in 1912-1914 (a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Today, Lowell's 19 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science. The Observatory welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year to its Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff, Arizona for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and special programs. Lowell Observatory currently has four research telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark sky site east of Flagstaff, and is building a 4-meter class research telescope, the Discovery Channel Telescope.



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