24″ Clark Refractor Premium Access—Ends Nov 14


75 minutes


Not currently offered


$525 (flat rate)

Up to 10 cohabitating or cotraveling guests

Experience the wonders of the universe through one of the world’s most storied telescopes—the 24-inch Clark Refractor at Lowell Observatory.

This private, personalized expedition across the stars lasts 75 minutes and offers an exclusive opportunity to view the cosmos through the same telescope that observatory founder Percival Lowell used to study Mars more than a century ago.*

*Barring any operational issues and weather permitting.

During this VIP experience, our staff will show you the best the night sky has to offer, including any types of objects that VIPs would like to see. Your personal educator will share the history of this monument to knowledge & exploration and will use a high-powered laser to point out prominent stars and constellations while telling epic tales of how the stars first formed.*

Looking through a telescope is like looking back through a time machine, observing celestial phenomena not as they appear now, but at the time when the light you are seeing began traveling to us. What could be more exciting than to observe this with an instrument that itself personifies antiquity? The 24-inch Clark Refractor, now in its second century of operation, was constructed in 1896, preceding Arizona statehood by 18 years. It was with this telescope that Percival Lowell fashioned his provocative ideas of life on Mars, V. M. Slipher first detected the expanding universe, and NASA astronauts mapped the Earth’s moon ahead of the Apollo missions.

This VIP experience is so much more than a stargazing session—it’s a guided journey through the cosmos and a retelling of how astronomers have used this tool of discovery. As 17th-century astronomer Johannes Kepler said, “The roads by which men arrive at their insights into celestial matters seem to me almost as worthy of wonder as those matters in themselves.”

During this Premium Access experience, guests will have the entire Clark Telescope, two educators, and the Clark Dome to themselves, including several exhibits within the dome that highlight some of the groundbreaking research done with the Clark Refractor.

To keep groups separate, please do not arrive more than 15 minutes in advance of your scheduled start time. Masks are optional when you are outdoors, but they are required whenever you are indoors or viewing through telescopes. The large interior space of the Clark Dome allows you and our specially trained Lowell educators to practice physical distancing throughout the duration of your Premium Access experience. Additionally, doors will be kept open to allow for increased ventilation. 

*Barring any operational issues and weather permitting.


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