Dr. Wes Lockwood
PhD University of Virginia, 1968
Dr. Lockwood joined Lowell Observatory in 1973 to work on a “Solar Variations and Atmospheric Transparency” project, an offshoot of the Observatory’s “Project for the Study of Planetary Atmospheres,” which began at Lowell in 1950. This planetary variability study has produced brightness measurements of Neptune, Uranus and Titan that have not been duplicated elsewhere and, according to Dr. Lockwood, will allow astronomers to someday understand the seasonal variation of planetary atmospheres. The workhorse for these projects was been the Observatory’s 21-inch reflecting telescope, located on the Mars Hill campus just west of the Slipher Building. Installed in 1953, it is housed in a 1920s stone building with a retractable roof and is used solely for photoelectric photometry, a process that measures light through colored glass filters.
The Solar -Stellar Spectrograph (SSS) project was another of Dr. Lockwood’s ongoing projects, and involved use of the Hall Telescope, located at the observatory’s Anderson Mesa dark sky site. For years, he and his team monitored the Sun and Sun-like stars on a monthly basis in order to learn more about the Sun and its effects on Earth’s climate.