Areas of Research

Areas of Research

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Solar System

Planetary scientists continue a long tradition of studying bodies in the solar system, including the Sun, planets, moons, comets, meteors, asteroids, and Kuiper belt objects.

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Stellar Astrophysics

Another long standing tradition at Lowell is the the study stars, from supermassive Wolf-Rayet stars to low-mass M-dwarf varieties.

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Exoplanetary Systems

Lowell astronomers search for distant worlds around other stars and characterize their nature.

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Galactic & Extragalactic Astronomy

V. M. Slipher’s observations of the redshifts of galaxies a century ago were the first evidence for the expansion of the universe. Research on structures of galaxies and of the universe continues at Lowell today.

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Cultural Astronomy

Researchers not only study how the universe works, but also how humans perceive it and integrate these interpretations into culture.

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Instrumentation Research & Development

Our instrumentation team carries out a variety of work in support of research instrumentation, outreach telescopes, and historic preservation projects.

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See recent staff publications.

A Tradition of Cutting-Edge Research

Lowell has been at the forefront of astronomical research for well over a century, with critical discoveries made from the inner solar system to the far reaches of the universe. The first detection of the expanding universe and the discovery of Pluto are but two of the foundation blocks upon which Lowell’s legacy of research has been built.

Explore Our Research History

Current Research Projects

Comet Research – 2I/Borisov

2I/Borisov, the first definitive interstellar comet detected as it passed through our solar system, gave astronomers the first opportunity to characterize how a comet formed elsewhere compares to comets we routinely observe.

Searching for M-Dwarf Stars

Palantir Stretches Capability of NPOI

The Quest to Understand Dark Energy

Laboratory Studies of the Stability of Liquids in the Outer Solar System

Trans-Neptunian Objects

Detecting Exoplanets

Surveying Meteors

New Horizons Mission