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General Astronomy >> Outreach

Pages: 1

Reged: 11/13/06

Loc: Prescott, AZ
      #6230711 - 12/03/13 02:32 AM

I've done forty something video observing evenings at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. I live 92 driving miles from Lowell so I usually go only when the sky is promising. Conditions looked reasonable Saturday afternoon and I headed for Flagstaff.

15 miles south of Flagstaff, I got a good look at the snow capped San Francisco Peaks (almost 13000 feet) just beyond the town. The mountains looked crisp, promising a fine evening. Moments later and a bit higher, I was amazed to see what looked like a giant lake backed right up to the mountains. Crossed my fingers hoping that Lowell, which is above the town, might also be above the fog. No such luck. The observatory was socked in just as heavily as the town.

Well,I thought, there is always the night sky network. NSN is a website where video observers from around the world (mostly North America) webcast live observing sessions. I often bring up NSN before doing a program. Broadcasts from the east coast begin long before dark in Arizona, so they make a nice warmup act. Well, I guess that weather on the east coast was bad because there were no broadcasts.

Even with a bad sky visitors always get a good show. Vesto Slipher collected the first evidence for the expanding universe at Lowell a hundred years ago. The 24 inch Clark refractor and the spectrometer that he used to collect spectra of a bunch of galaxies are still there along with an excellent collection of artifacts. Slipher took as long as 40 hours, tracking manually, to collect his galaxy spectra.

The telescope, dome, and blink comparator that Clyde Tombaugh used to discover Pluto in 1930 are also still on display. There are also multiple displays and programs.

No complaints. This was my first wipeout at Lowell after almost 4 years of video observing and with big crowds (80,000 visitors a year) it's a wonderful place to do outreach.


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gene 4181

Reged: 11/12/13

Loc: n.e. ohio
Re: sometimes...... new [Re: skyguy88]
      #6239246 - 12/07/13 02:41 PM

i alway's wondered why they named it the hubble space telescope . seem's to me from what i've read it shoulf of been the slipher space telescope. and slipher realized the galaxies were going away from us, red shifted in the spectral analysis. lowell hired slipher . very interesting story. my info comes from redshift by timothy ferris.

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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: sometimes...... new [Re: skyguy88]
      #6248534 - 12/12/13 08:57 AM Attachment (8 downloads)


I've done forty something video observing evenings at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ.


My wife and I toured Lowell in 2004. It was immensely enjoyable. A very pretty setting too. Our tour was conducted by the gal in the pic. The instrument depicted is the astrograph Tombaugh used to take the Pluto plates.
Note the wooden dome!
Great place!

Edited by dawziecat (12/12/13 08:58 AM)

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