About Lowell

Lowell Observatory is a world-renowned leader in astronomical research and education. Our mission, taken directly from the will of founder Percival Lowell, is to “pursue the study of astronomy, especially the study of our solar system and its evolution; to conduct pure research in astronomical phenomena; and to maintain quality public education and outreach programs to bring the results of astronomical research to the general public.”

As we proudly celebrate this legacy of astronomical excellence, we recognize the three pillars on which our success is built: cutting edge research, multifaceted educational programming, and an unparalleled history.


Using instruments such as the exquisite 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope, our astronomers conduct research spanning the very boundaries of space. We study the solar system, with leading experts in the areas of comets, asteroids, icy moons, and Kuiper belt objects. We explore the properties of a whole variety of stars, search for and study planetary systems around other stars, and try to unravel the nature and evolutionary history of galaxies, the vast assemblages of stars that comprise the larger-scale structure of the universe. Image Credit: Massey/Neugent/Lowell Observatory/NSF

dsc_0920_editedEDUCATION & OUTREACH
As our scientists study the mysteries of the cosmos, we maintain a long-standing commitment to sharing our discoveries with everyone—professional peers, the general public, and students from kindergarten through college. Percival Lowell, who has been called the Carl Sagan of his day, was a tireless popularizer of astronomy and advocate for science. We continue this commitment today with an education program that features a score of educators who in 2015 alone welcomed more than 95,000 visitors to peer through telescopes, learn about our astronomers’ latest research, and discover the universe for themselves.


Through more than 120 years of research, our scientists have made discoveries that fundamentally altered our understanding of the cosmos, from the discovery of Pluto and the first evidence of the expanding nature of the universe, to the detection of jaw-dropping planets around other stars. Because of this significant scientific, educational, and cultural heritage, Lowell has been recognized as a Registered National Historic Landmark and in 2011 was designated by Time magazine as one of “The World’s Most Important Places”. Our vast collection of historic documents and artifacts is carefully curated and available for study by researchers from around the world.

For more about Lowell Observatory please visit