The Slipher Society


Sherry Shaffer


(928) 714-7777

Jump-start astronomical research

Slipher Society members support Lowell Observatory’s mission to study our universe with annual investments that fill critical gaps between research grants and other formal funding sources. These critical donations help get new research efforts off the ground or complete current research projects.

Projects that Slipher Society members supported include:

  • Lowell researcher and deputy director for technology, Dr. Kyler Kuehn, used Slipher Society funds to employ a research assistant for his project, “Photonic Devices for Ground-based Infrared Observing.” Kyler’s assistant, Hannah, was able to measure and test current equipment to determine what resources would be needed to develop a new instrument that will suppress atmospheric OH emissions via photonic-integrated silicon devices. The subsequent data will be submitted to several different programs within the National Science Foundation for funding at the $500K+ level.


  • Astronomer Dr. Gerard van Belle was able to use Slipher Society funding to purchase automated ACP software for Lowell’s Titan Monitor (TiMo) telescope. The 20” telescope on the Mars Hill campus has been drafted into extra service since the mechanical failure of longtime workhorse 31” telescope on Anderson Mesa. By automating TiMo, current work measuring the temperature of stars can continue, in addition to a wide variety of pilot programs, including: high-precision light curves of eclipsing binary stars, Sloan photometric colors of asteroids, and asteroid stellar occultations.

The Slipher Brothers

The Slipher Society is named in honor of two of the observatory’s past directors, each of them astronomers in their own right—brothers V.M. and E.C. Slipher.

Member Levels & Benefits

Level 3

$10,000 per year ($833.34 per month)

  • Level 1 and 2 benefits. Plus:
  • Astronomer ride-along: spend an afternoon or evening with a Lowell astronomer to get an in-depth look at their research and methods. Time will be allowed for questions.

Level 2

$5,000 per year ($416.67 per month)

  • Level 1 benefits. Plus:
  • Invitation to a yearly trip with fellow Slipher Society members. Destinations may include: Ice Lab at Northern Arizona University, the Naval Observatory, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Nevada National Security Site, or Kitt Peak.

Level 1

$1,500 per year ($125 per month)

  • A Slipher Society commemorative lapel pin.
  • Receive Lab Notes, a digital update of Slipher Society funded projects, twice annually.
  • One networking event annually featuring Lowell astronomers discussing their research. (Virtually or onsite, subject to current safe practices.)
  • Listing in the thank-you section of the resulting funded paper(s) as “Members of the Slipher Society at Lowell Observatory.”

All charter members who join by December 1, 2021 will be invited to the 2022 Director’s Opportunity Network astronomy tour to France and Spain. Ask for details.
*The Slipher Society exclusively funds research and is separate from any Lowell Observatory membership level. Gifts must be designated specifically to the Slipher Society to receive benefits. Benefits may change over time.

Join the Slipher Society

Custom payment plans are available. Call Sherry Shaffer at (928) 714-7777, or click the button to start an email.

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