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Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona

24 Mar 2014, 00:42 UTC
Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona
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Astronomical highlight #2 of our Rote 66 tour included a visit to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff. This was where Percival Lowell discovered old, poor Pluto and also made maps of the 'canals" on Mars! :-) We went rather late on a somewhat cloudy night and viewed a number of objects through the observatory's stattic scopes, as well as some portable scopes set up in the grounds (a 16" Discovery dob, 8" Meade LX200 Classic and 8" Orion dob). Views were okay. My Lightbridge easily rivaled the view of Jupiter through their 16". The large scope at the observatory was out of commission due to some recalibration work being done to their drive gear system. Oh well. Still, it was great to walk around a historical, astronomical site.We also took in a general lecture presented by one of the astronomers on staff. He gave a brilliant review of the Drake Equation which my whole family understood, as well as a beginner-level review of the constellations. All in all, a worthwhile visit!

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