LOWELL OBSERVATORY TO RENOVATE PLUTO DISCOVERY TELESCOPE
Flagstaff, AZ. – The instrument at Lowell Observatory used by Clyde Tombaugh to discover Pluto will soon undergo renovation. The year-long project, set to begin on January 12, will include restoration of both the historic telescope and the wooden dome that houses it. While the telescope will be removed from the dome during this work, the dome will be open from time to time for public tours as work allows.
The Pluto Telescope and its dome date back to the late 1920s, when Lowell Observatory recommenced the search for founder Percival Lowell’s theoretical “Planet X”. In the nine decades since, some areas of the dome have rotted, a few of the telescope parts have worn out, and the others need to be cleaned or stripped and repainted. The renovation will address these issues, as Lowell’s technical staff plans to replace part of the dome wood and then weatherproof the entire facility. They will also repair and clean the telescope control mechanisms, photographic plate holders, and other accessories. Lowell staff will also add new educational exhibits to the dome.
The Pluto Telescope is technically known as an astrograph, a telescope specifically designed for taking ...