Flagstaff, AZ- Nearly every major Pluto-related discovery has ties to Flagstaff, Arizona, particularly Lowell Observatory. This has led people to call both the city and observatory the “Home of Pluto”. A new book published by The History Press, Pluto and Lowell Observatory, shares this captivating connection. It is set for release on March 10.
Percival Lowell began searching for a planet at his observatory in 1905, an effort that eventually culminated with Clyde Tombaugh’s 1930 discovery of Pluto. Ever since, area scientists have helped lead efforts to discover Pluto moons, develop surface maps, detect an atmosphere, and explore the world up-close with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.
Authors Kevin Schindler and Will Grundy tell the story of Pluto from postulation to exploration. They begin the book by sharing Percival Lowell’s early searches, which were fraught with intrigue and disappointment. Lowell went to his grave without discovering his planet, though his team of assistants unknowingly photographed Pluto a year before his death.
These early efforts set the stage for a later search carried out by Tombaugh, who made his grand discovery at the age of 24. This brought worldwide fame to Flagstaff and Lowell Observatory, which was flooded with suggestions about what ...