20-inch Titan Monitor


Historic Mars Hill campus


The Titan Monitor (TiMo) facility at Lowell’s Mars Hill campus currently houses two telescopes mounted together. The original telescope was a 21-inch reflector that had been built in-house to observe  Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. The current telescope is a 20-inch PlaneWave CDK that is co-mounted with a 13-inch telescope for high-speed occultation observations. The CDK is instrumented with a near-infrared (NIR) Princeton Instruments NIRvana640 imager. 

About the Titan Monitor

This 20-inch (0.5-meter) Titan Monito (TiMo) is one of the newest research telescopes at Lowell. Located on the main Mars Main Hill site near downtown Flagstaff, it is well suited for observing bright objects in the near-infrared.

The instrument consists of a PlaneWave telescope with a near-infrared (NIR) Princeton Instruments NIRvana640 imager. Such advanced instrumentation is usually only available—at a steep prize—on larger telescopes.

Research With the Titan Monitor

The facility is well-suited for NIR observations of bright objects.

It is one of several ground-based telescopes around the world that operate in tandem to collect detailed information about Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, whose atmospheric and surface conditions are in some ways similar to those of Earth. Known as the Titan Monitoring Project, the suite of telescopes is optimized to monitor dynamic weather events on Titan, providing clues about Earth’s early planetary conditions and evolution.