Lowell Discovery Telescope Excursion
Sundays through October 15
20% Off for Members
Get a close-up look at one of the world’s premier research telescopes!
This exclusive guided experience is an unforgettable behind-the-scenes look at the 4.3-meter Lowell Discovery Telescope, the 5th-largest optical telescope in the continental United States.
Astronomers and planetary scientists from Lowell Observatory and other institutions use the LDT for a variety of cutting-edge research, from monitoring nearby asteroids to investigating distant galaxies. Tickets include general admission to our Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff. Members receive 20% off their ticket price.
What to Expect
You will be driven from our Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff to the LDT in Happy Jack, Arizona, while two of our knowledgeable educators give you the rundown on the history and the science of the area.
When you arrive at the LDT, our educators will give you a walking tour of the facility. You will learn the ins and outs of what it takes to maintain and operate a powerful 4.3-meter telescope, as well as how we use it to make groundbreaking discoveries about our universe. With a mirror larger than 14 feet across, this massive telescope itself is a sight to behold! Following your visit to the LDT, we’ll drive you back to Mars Hill where you can enjoy daytime tours and nighttime stargazing.
**NOTE: The LDT is a functioning research telescope; unexpected inclement weather or maintenance needs may occur at any time. Tours may need to be canceled on short notice in order to prioritize telescope repairs and the safety of our guests and staff.
Space on each tour is limited, so book your tickets to see the future of astronomical research today!
Why is the LDT So Cool?
The Swiss Army Knife of Telescopes
The 4.3-meter Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT) is Lowell Observatory’s flagship research instrument. Its revolutionary instrument cube, which allows for the simultaneous attachment of 5 instruments, makes it one of the most versatile telescopes in the world, inspiring former Lowell Observatory Director Bob Millis to call it the Swiss Army Knife of Telescopes.
Lowell Observatory solely owns and operates the telescope, and has formed scientific partnerships that grant access to scientists from Boston University, the University of Maryland, the University of Toledo, Yale University, and Northern Arizona University. The observatory also maintains a media access and marketing partnership with Discovery, Inc., which funded $10 million of the $53 million cost of the LDT’s construction.
Research with the Lowell Discovery Telescope
Lowell astronomers and our partners use the LDT for a variety of research, ranging from nearby asteroids to far-distant galaxies.
Asteroids, comets, planets, Kuiper belt objects, double stars, planets around stars other than the Sun, massive stars, dwarf galaxies, colliding galaxies, and more are all fair game. Learn more about our research here.