|John S. Hall Telescope|
Percival Lowell, the observatory's founder, also had a strong desire to study the planet Mars. He was convinced that there was some type of intelligent life on the planet Mars. For many years he studied the planet and made diagrams of the canals seen on the planet. This was the first detailed account of what the surface of Mars looked like. The canals that Lowell charted were thought by him to be evidence that some sort of intelligent civilization at one time had constructed them, possibly as a result of a diminished water supply.. As is not uncommon in the scientific community, some astronomers were doubtful of Lowell's findings, in particular his assumption that the canals were made by intelligent beings as opposed to natural phenomena. This question was largely answered in 1965 when NASA's Mariner IV probe discovered mostly a barren landscape on the planet. In addition to this, Mariner IV recorded surface temperatures of -100 Celsius nor were any magnetic fields found. Mariner IV data pretty much ruled out any intelligent life on Mars and thus disproved the canal theory.
|Clark Telescope, Lowell Observatory|
|Lowell Observatory Visitor Center, Flagstaff Arizona|
Another good addition to your Arizona trip planner is a stop at the historic La Posada Hotel in Winslow Arizona, about 57 miles east of Flagstaff.
Hours, admission fees, and special events held at Lowell Observatory can be found on their website. You can learn more about our Universe though widescreen multimedia shows, plus exhibits, guided tours and presentations. Adding a visit to the Lowell Observatory during your Arizona road trip vacation is a fun and educational adventure.
(Photos from author's private collection)