A major modern astronomical research facility, the Lowell Observatory offers science-based fun for all ages. While probably most famous for the 1930 discovery by Clyde Tombaugh of what was once known as planet Pluto, Lowell is also the home of other notable discoveries in the decades that followed, including the detection of water in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system. This is a working laboratory as well as a museum of astronomical history. Check their activity calendar before you go so you can get in on tours and special telescope viewing times to see the wonders of the sky, from daytime solar viewings to viewing of stars, planets and the moon at night. During the summer months your admission is good all day, so check out the tours and museum portions during the less-busy daytime and return for stargazing at night. The museum portion is probably most interesting to students studying the planets in school, so it can be skipped if you’re short on time, though the educational films they show are worth watching. Lowell is open both day and night, June through August. Check their website for hours of operation at other times of the year. Unlike many other observatories, Lowell is not in a remote location. Because of Flagstaff’s elevation and International Dark Sky status, the observatory is located just up the hill from downtown. The road is a steep climb, so driving is recommended.
Attractions & Landmarks, Science & Technology, Tours
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