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  1. #1
    Rick Evans's Avatar
    Rick Evans Guest

    Default A side trip to Lowell Observatory



    Early this month my wife and I decided to check out the Grand
    Canyon as part of a sight seeing trip to Arizona. Eschewing the
    100F+ late summer days of Phoenix we stayed in Flagstaff and
    visited sites from there.

    On the first night we decided to check out Lowell Observatory.
    In the latter half of the week the location is open for night
    viewing. Night is not necessarily best part of the visit for a
    regular skygazer(a little about that later). However if you want
    to expose yourself to a little astronomy visit the place is
    worth a visit.

    The evening program consists of a short lecture by a local high
    school student who did a pretty good job giving a novice's
    overview of the sky and astronomy. A nice touch was that he
    started off the talk educating the visitors about light
    pollution and Flagstaff's efforts to engage in good lighting
    practices. Sadly the Comfort Inn I where we stayed hasn't quite
    gotten the message. However, the Milky Way view from Mars hill
    is quite impressive.

    There's also an exhibit hall with various historical exhibits,
    short videos and other exhibits about the site.

    Night activity is centered around a 16 inch Cassegrain and the
    24 inch Alvan Clark refractor. I suggested the night activity
    was not the best part of the visit and that's because of the
    crowd. That there was a crowd was a good thing because of the
    level of interest. OTOH you waited on line for twenty to thirty
    minutes for a quick look at M15. I would opine that a better
    choice would be a day visit with its guided tours and if you
    have your Dob take it up there that same night; with permission
    of course. Fortunately there were a group of local amateurs but
    even there they kept their targets novice friendly. Another
    advantage of a day
    visit is you can take pictures sans flash with is not allowed.

    It was nice to see the large number of people, many of them
    non-astronomy oriented
    tourists turning our for the whole night program. The biggest
    line was for the 24 inch of course but there were lines for the
    amateur scopes, too. When we left at about 10PM there
    were still folks chatting with the amateurs and sky gazing.

    --

    Rick Evans
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Lon -71° 04' 35.3"
    Lat +42° 11' 06.7"


  2. #2
    Craig's Avatar
    Craig Guest

    Default A side trip to Lowell Observatory

    A few years ago I was working in Scotssdale on a project for about a
    month or so. One week I went up there on a Weds. night and took in the
    night time events. This was during the Mars opposition so I think it
    was in 2005. I got to look at Mars through the 24" and while the view
    was not the best, the historic opportunity was not lost on me. Getting
    a chance to look at Mars through a scope that was primarily designed
    for that purpose was just too cool.

    I tried to take a prime focus shot with my 20D but there was not enough
    in focus as I recall. :-(

    But it was well worth the trip. I took a co-worker of mine up there a
    few weeks later and he was suitably impressed.

    Here are a few of the shots I took at opposition from Lowell.

    http://www.pbase.com/craigbob/lowell_observatory


    Rick Evans wrote:




    --


 

 

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