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Budding astronomers and amateur stargazers got a special update from Lowell Observatory officials June 18, when Russell (Rusty) Tweed, development manager for Lowell Observatory, visited the area for a special engagement with the Williams Rotary Club.

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A video of Lowell Observatory



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HENDRICKS FAMILY BOOSTS DISCOVERY CHANNEL TELESCOPE WITH ADDITIONAL $5 MILLION CONTRIBUTION
Lowell Observatory announced today receipt of a $5 million contribution from the John and Maureen Hendricks family in support of the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). This gift is in addition to their earlier $1 million contribution for the same purpose.
The 4.2-meter aperture Discovery Channel Telescope is being built by Lowell Observatory in partnership with Discovery Communications, Inc. of Silver Spring, Maryland. When completed, the approximately $37 million telescope will be the fifth largest in the continental United States and will incorporate many advanced features to optimise its performance.

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The Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), a joint project of Lowell Observatory and Discovery Communications, Inc., (DCI) moves closer to completion as University of Arizona optical scientists polish and figure the observatory's 6,700-pound mirror. This delicate process seems appropriate for the 4.3-meter heart of the telescope, although it is only 100 millimetres thick.

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Lowell Observatory and the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences have finalised a $3 million, three-year contract to complete the Discovery Channel Telescope primary mirror.

The 4.3-metre-diameter mirror is the heart of Lowell Observatory's new Discovery Channel Telescope. The telescope is under construction at Happy Jack, Arizona.

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Locations of the Lowell observatory telescopes.

Download Google earth file (4 kb, Kmz)

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The Lowell Observatory was threatened by a Flagstaff bush fire.

lowell Observatory
Latitude = 35 5'48.44"N Longitude 11132'10.89"W altitude = 2198

The USNO hill was west of the fire, so they were safe since the 40mph wind gusts were coming from the southwest. Mars Hill and points toward the fire were under serious threat for a couple hours.

Source

Lowell Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. It was founded in 1894 by astronomer Percival Lowell, and run for a time by his third cousin Guy Lowell of Boston's well-known Lowell family.
The observatory operates several telescopes at two locations in Flagstaff. The main facility, located on Mars Hill just west of downtown Flagstaff, houses the original 24-inch (.61-meter) Clark Refracting Telescope, although its role today is as a public education tool and not research.

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Discovery Channel Telescope
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Lowell Observatory and Discovery Communications Reach Milestone in Construction of the Discovery Channel Telescope.

The telescope will be amongst the most sophisticated ground-based telescopes of its size; and to be fully operational by 2010, the Discovery Channel Telescope will enable Lowell astronomers to enter new research areas and conduct many existing programs much more efficiently.

The Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) is Lowell Observatory`s newest project to design and construct a powerful, 4.2-meter telescope 45 miles southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Currently under development in partnership with Discovery Communications, Inc., the DCT will significantly advance Lowell`s scientific research capabilities while providing opportunities for real-time global broadcasting and educational programming about astronomy and science.
Unique to the DCT`s optical configuration is the ability to switch from an ultra wide-field (prime focus) imaging and surveying mode to a significantly longer focal length mode optimized for spectroscopy, infrared imaging, and other applications. When configured for prime focus imaging, the DCT, in a single exposure, will allow astronomers to survey an area of the sky equal to the size of 16 full moons, which greatly exceeds the capabilities of existing telescopes of its class.
In the longer focal length mode, the DCT will allow astronomers to zoom in on selected objects for detailed observation and subsequent analysis.
With an expected completion date in 2009, the DCT will be a powerful, versatile tool for accelerating progress on a number of high-priority research areas including the Near-Earth Objects Search and exploration of the newly discovered Kuiper Belt. It will also expand opportunities for public outreach and education in the exciting world of science and technology.
The telescope site is located north of the U.S. Forest Service Happy Jack Ranger Station, Coconino National Forest. The agency issued the special use permit to build in this location. Forest Service officials will take part in a groundbreaking ceremony along with Lowell Observatory supporters, astronomers, and Discovery executives.

"Today's groundbreaking is one more important step towards the realization of a dream that began just over a decade ago when Lowell Observatory celebrated its centennial year. With this new telescope, Lowell astronomers will be equipped to continue cutting-edge research well into our institution's second century and, through the magnificent programming capabilities of our partner, Discovery Communications, we will see the results of that research brought into living rooms and classrooms around the world" - Bob Millis, Director, Lowell Observatory.

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