Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lowell Observatory's Historic Clark Telescope: Restoration Sought

Restoring the Telescope That Made History
Percival Lowell and the Clark
Percival Lowell studies the sky through the 24-inch Clark Telescope.
Lowell Observatory

March 13, 2013
by Kevin Schindler

The Lowell Observatory launches a fundraising campaign to restore its famous 24-inch Clark Telescope.

Today (2013 March 13) we celebrate Percival Lowell’s 158th birthday. Born in 1855, Lowell was an ambitious thinker whose legacy crosses several fields, including astronomy, Eastern studies, literature, and modern science fiction. Perhaps Lowell’s greatest contributions are the observatory he established and the course of research he set for future generations. The 24-inch Clark refracting telescope has taken part in nearly the entire history of the Lowell Observatory. The facility’s icon connects Lowell’s mission of carrying out astronomical research and sharing the results with the general public.

The Clark Telescope’s resume is quite impressive. It was the primary instrument for Lowell’s provocative studies of Mars. In the early 20th century, V.M. Slipher used the telescope to detect the universe’s expansion. And in the 1960s, scientists and airbrush artists used this telescope to create detailed lunar maps used to aid in the Apollo lunar landing missions.

Over the past several decades, the Clark has been a tool for education, serving an estimated million visitors in the last 20 years, making the Clark a telescope of the people.

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Source: Sky and Telescope Magazine.

More on the historic Lowell Observatory:
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Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
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* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
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* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
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* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
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* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
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* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
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