“You Can Observe A Lot By Watching”
Here is how the Lowell Observatory describes itself:
Lowell Observatory, founded by Perceival Lowell in 1894, is a private, non-profit institution dedicated to the research and education in astronomy. Home of many important astronomical discoveries including the first evidence of the expansion of the universe and discovery of the planet Pluto., Lowell Observatory continues as an active major research observatory today. Sharing our founder’s conviction that scientist bear an obligation to convey their work in a way that all interested people can appreciate, the Observatory also offers educational programs to school children, and the general public.
Here is how I describe the visit to the Lowell Observatory:
A day to savor as a time so filled to the brim, overflowing with wonder and cool. Of humans embracing and chasing curiosity, talent, and the very universe. Being at the Lowell Observatory opened me to both remember and consider anew about just how much bigger the Story unfolding is than my own experience. A day full up with a strong infusion of inspiration
First we attended lectures on The Solar System, and another Stars and Galaxies. The young women who presented were knowledgeable, well spoken, and passionate about their love of space and exploration. Learned so much, including that the, much photographed by me, moon was once a part of the earth and broke away; the three qualifications to be considered a planet are : It is in orbit around the Sun. It has sufficient mass to assume hydro-static equilibrium (a nearly round shape). It must also “clear the neighborhood” around its orbit which means it is gravitationally in charge in its vicinity in space.
Next visited, the Putman Collection where the Science Library, artifacts, and collections are offered. Just a glimpse of a few of the displayed treasures:
Including the centerpiece in the lobby – Percival Lowell’s 1911 Stevens-Duryea automobile. “Big Red” was Lowell’s state-of-the-art “horseless carriage” which still appears in local parades:
Then to the telescopes to see what is currently in the sky!
The McAllister Telescope, a reflecting telescope with a Cassegrain optical system featuring a 16- inch primary mirror. The largest telescope I have personally ever seen. The dials and mechanics mesmerize and dare me to figure out how they work together to show the very stars. Once again a Guide to knowledgeably/ enthusiastically explain, and assists in using the telescope. Adrenaline push and a happy dance; then yet another look into timelessness with gratitude and high spirits step out into the cold fresh high altitude pine scented Flagstaff air. A short walk to The Clark Telescope Dome:
The Clark Telescope Dome was built in 1896 by local bicycle repairmen Godfrey and Stanley Sykes. There is much local Ponderosa Pine in the construction and has the look and feel of love, artistic attention as well as sustainability of Italian Cathedrals. The Clark Telescope surprised me with it’s size, dwarfing, the just minutes ago largest ever I”d seen, McAllister Telescope. The Clark Telescope built in 1896 was the instrument used when the first evidence of the universe expanding was discovered. To have the opportunity to not only photograph this beautiful piece of equipment, but to watch it in motion as the dome is opened. Consider the Sykes brothers as chains, wheels, and gears smoothly swing the scope into the place and yet another set of instruments to be adjusted and set. Then the Guide offers a look, and there I am gone clear through space to see clear to turquoise blue Uranus. That’s right ! No words to use to describe to you the positive sea-change shift that such a look into space gives. Using the telescope that was used to discover the expansion the universe. Can you give me an Amen!
The night continued with a careful drive down Oak Creek Canyon with raccoons,deer, and skunk on the move and the Geminid Meteor Shower in dazzling full swing overhead. The energizing fullness and wonder of this visit to the Lowell Observatory remains.
I wish to take this time to thank you for your support, kind words, and interest in the success of JoHannaMassey.com in 2017. I enjoy visiting with you here, and on your websites whose quality challenge me to do better, teach and inform me daily, surprise me and make me laugh and provide a very real sense of a global community through WordPress. Such a diversity and exchange of ideas and people to appreciate and consider. May each and everyone of you experience and share Joy and Peace during this Holiday Season. Again, thank you. – JoHanna
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