Lowell Observatory is a private, nonprofit, research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell.
MISSION STATEMENT - "The mission of Lowell Observatory is to pursue the study of astronomy, especially the study of our solar system and its evolution; to conduct pure research in astronomical phenomena; and to maintain quality public education and outreach programs to bring the results of astronomical research to the general public."
Since 1894, Lowell astronomers have conducted fundamental research that has led to the discovery of Pluto, the first evidence of the expanding Universe, and exhaustive measurements of the motions and basic properties of stars, among other achievements. Today, our staff of nearly 90 continues this tradition of discovery in all areas of astronomy and planetary science.
In 1994, in celebration of our centennial, we opened the Steele Visitor Center; today, well over a million people have passed through its doors. Some 80,000 visitors each year enjoy our tours, telescope viewing, exhibits, multimedia shows, and more. Percival Lowell inspired millions with his tireless advocacy of astronomy in the public eye, and we continue this commitment today.
In 2012, we embarked on our greatest adventure yet with the completion of the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). This new facility vastly expands the breadth of research capabilities for our astronomers. Even more exciting, Discovery Communications brings our results to hundreds of millions worldwide through programming using the DCT's breathtaking images.
Rapid technological advances have made the past few decades a golden age for astronomy. The DCT will usher in Lowell's golden age, and you can be part of it by joining the Friends of Lowell. Join and share the marvels of the cosmos with us.