Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tourism day - Lowell Observatory

After Sunday’s fall, I didn’t do anything on Monday. It’s really frustrating, but probably not that bad patience training...
Today I decided I’ll try to cycle a bit and do some tourism, since I’m unable to do any training.
I took my bike and we (that is, bike and myself - I decided to be nice to my bike, hoping it will reward me with being easier to ride. You know, karma and stuff) rode to downtown Flagstaff to visit some nice places.
Flagstaff’s downtown is not really big - they say in the guide that you can walk the whole thing in 10 minutes. So after 20 minutes of cycling, I’ve seen it all.
But there is more to Flagstaff than just downtown.
One of more interesting things is Lowell Observatory.
Sitting on a hill overlooking the town, it’s an astronomic observatory founded in 1894 in order to look for life on Mars.
So far it didn’t fulfil it’s original goal, but astronomers working there have very impressive list of achievements.
Probably the most well known one is discovery of planet Pluto in 1930.
Well, it’s actually not considered a planet anymore, and they clearly can’t get over it - got a t-shirt to prove it!
The Observatory have more achievements, like a proof for expanding universe.
They have themed tours where you can learn e.g. about how Pluto was discovered, including visit to the dome with the astrograph that was used to take pictures, that eventually led to discovery of Pluto.
It’s still an active observatory, it seems it was getting good funding recently. There are fourteen or so astronomers working there at the moment. But they had to move their main telescopes a bit further from Flagstaff, because of the city lights. Flagstaff was actually the first International Dark Sky City, but there is a road in the town, that’s facing the observatory, and the car lights were making it harder for astronomers to work.
Anyway, very interesting place to visit, there are many different tours during the day and you can also watch the night sky during the night (it’s open until 10pm).
Oh, and I finally managed to take a picture of a squirrel!


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  2. I'm pretty sure your wrote that post just to have me comment it :-P
    YES, Observatories are great !