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Stars up close in faraway Happy Jack

Although Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope may boast a prestigious and high-profile name, its location is far off the beaten track.
Built off Lake Mary Road (Highway 3) near Happy Jack, 45 miles from Flagstaff, the DCT sits atop a hill of cinder hill and is reached by a winding, dirt road and guarded by chainlink fences.
Although the structure is meant to gaze at outer space, from some angles it looks like it just arrived from there.

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The Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory, near Flagstaff, Ariz., is complete and has begun observing the cosmos with its 16-million-pixel camera.

M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy: DCT First Light Big Pic Gallery
M104, The Sombrero Galaxy: DCT First Light Big Pic Gallery
M109 Barred Spiral Galaxy: DCT First Light Big Pic Gallery



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Lowell commemorates new telescope with Neil Armstrong at first-light gala

Lowell Observatory will commission its newest, largest and most advanced telescope Saturday.
And a special guest at the telescope's gala celebration will be astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon.

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Discovery Channel Telescope Approaches 'First Light'

The Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) is complete and the "First Light Gala" -- where the first images from the DCT will be showcased -- is being held at Lowell Observatory on Saturday, July 21.
The huge, 4.3-meter telescope -- at an elevation of 2,370 meters atop a cinder cone in Happy Jack, 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Ariz. -- is a joint $53 million project between Lowell Observatory and Discovery Communications. The telescopic monster took nine years to construct.

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Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope gets ready to make its debut

Flagstaff's Lowell Observatory is putting the finishing touches on the Discovery Channel Telescope. Local astronomers say the giant new machine will catapult Lowell to the cutting edge of astronomy research, solidify its legacy, and offer unprecedented views of the Heavens to more than a billion Discovery Channel viewers.
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Lowell Observatory's largest gamble in a century may soon start paying off. Five years since breaking ground in Happy Jack, the Discovery Channel Telescope dome is complete, the telescope mount is in place and the primary mirror is on site prepping to be installed.
By this time next year, Lowell expects the $48 million telescope to be ready to see its first light.

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The Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory Designed with progeCAD

The DCT is a 14 ft research class telescope situated at an elevation of 7,800 feet atop an ancient cinder cone approximately 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona at a site called Happy Jack. It will significantly advance Lowell's capabilities in astronomical research and just important, the partnership with Discovery Communications, whose current operations include 29 global networks in over 180 countries, will bring the fascinating world of astronomical science and education to more than 1.6 billion people every day.
Construction of the DCT began in 2005 with completion and early science operations expected in 2012.

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The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences is putting the final touches on an ultra-thin mirror that will be a crucial part of a new telescope funded by Discovery Communications and the Lowell Observatory.
The $44 million Discovery Channel Telescope, to be housed about 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff at Happy Jack, has been in the works since 2003. The telescope will be the fifth-largest in the continental United States when it's completed next year.

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UA is finishing ultra-thin mirror for Discovery Channel telescope

The UA College of Optical Sciences is putting the final touches on an ultra-thin mirror that will be a crucial part of a new telescope funded by Discovery Communications and the Lowell Observatory.
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Seven-story dome awaits telescope
Lowell Observatory proposed the idea for a next-generation research telescope in the late 1990s. In October 2003, Lowell announced a partnership with Discovery Communications to build the Discovery Channel Telescope, and in July 2005, Lowell and Discovery held a groundbreaking ceremony southwest of Flagstaff at the telescope site near Happy Jack.

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