A visit to the Lowell Observatory on Mars Hill in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.  Founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell to study Mars, Lowell Observatory sits atop Mars Hill, Flagstaff, at an elevation of 7, 246 feet. In 1930, the dwarf planet Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory.

Percival Lowell used the main 24″ Clark telescope to map what he thought at the time were Martian canals carrying water from the polar ice caps.  This later in turn inspired HG Wells and The War of the Worlds.  Canals on Mars were disproved by NASA in the 1960’s with the Mariner missions.

As this was an evening visit there were several telescopes outside for viewing. Using a 15″ Dobson, we were able to view M13 The Hercules Cluster, M27 The Ring Nebula and M31 The Andromeda Galaxy. With the 10″ SCT we viewed the Moon and Jupiter. Unfortunately due to the high levels of humidity we were unable to view through the main 24″ Clark telescope although I was allowed to operate the dome. Well worth the $9 fee to the Lowell Observatory.


Lowell Observatory


Nick Cook. Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it.


  1. Pingback: Southwestern United States | Nick Cook

  2. John Rowland Reply

    Hi Nick,

    I’m writing a book on practical astronomy and would like to include in it your photo of the 24″ at Lowell. (The top left shot)
    a) Do I have your permission?
    b) If yes, would you like me to credit you as the photographer?
    c) If yes, would my giving your name and website address be ok?

    Please get back to me asap.

    Thank you and kind regards,

    John Rowland

    P.S. I spent two wonderful night at the Lowell quite a few years ago, observing Jupiter.
    P.P.S. Love your Monument Valley panorama. Been there. Adore it.

    • admin Reply

      Hi John, Just put my name, that should be OK


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