• The Local Group

This is a living page with information pertinent to Lowell’s capital expansion plans. Any changes and additions to this page will be noted in a community update email.

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Astronomy Discovery Center

Learn More About the ADC

Opening by 2024, the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation Astronomy Discovery Center at Lowell Observatory will be a place of curiosity and discovery for visitors from around the world.

A growing body of evidence indicates “free-choice” learning experiences at private science centers contribute more significantly to the public’s scientific literacy than science coursework in high school or college. For children, experiences gained in science centers are major predictors for future science inquiry skills and academic achievement.

We have worked closely with the Flagstaff community to select elements for a new Astronomy Discovery Center that are unique to our capabilities while addressing future visitor needs and interests. The new 32,000-square-foot Center will include key destination features:

  • Youth and Family Exhibits
  • Universe Theater
  • Richard F. Caris Dark Sky Planetarium

Additional new amenities will include a café, expanded gift shop, additional bathrooms, and ample parking to make our guests’ visits more enjoyable.

*Renderings on this page are conceptual and subject to change.

October 15, 2020 Neighborhood Meeting: Astronomy Discovery Center/Section 17

Section 17

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee – Proposed Statement on Observatory Purposes

“The Committee understands that Lowell Observatory recently developed a land use proposal for section 17 with the input and co-authorship of local-elected officials, educational institutions, research institutions, and other stakeholders, that envisions developing a nonprofit science, technology, and engineering campus that would further the mission and purposes of the observatory. Access to this campus would necessitate the construction of a road on section 17. The land use plan could include supporting an arts and culture center, would maintain open space conservation, and could allow for cabins for employees, academic associates, and other professional visitors to the observatory campus. The committee acknowledges that the mission and purpose of the observatory has evolved since section 17 was originally conveyed to Percival Lowell in 1910 and believes that such land uses meet the spirit and intent of the term observatory purposes and related educational purposes as amended by S. 242.”

Learn more about our phased reopening plan