Lowell Observatory

lowell.edu

Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff will reopen to the public for general admission beginning November 15th. The facility has been closed to visitors throughout the pandemic. Observatory officials say new COVID-19 protocols will be in place to keep guests and staff safe. Guests 12 and older will need to show proof of vaccination, or the results of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of visiting the observatory. Children 2-11 will need to wear masks indoors, as vaccinations have not yet been approved for that age group.

Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona

Early risers tomorrow morning will have a chance to see the full moon disappear behind Earth’s shadow in a total lunar eclipse. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.


Raemy Winton

Monday is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. But this solstice brings with it a brilliant display of light, as Jupiter and Saturn draw close together in an event known as “the great conjunction.” They’ll appear closer in the sky than they’ve been in almost four centuries, low in the southwest after sunset. They may even look like a single dazzling star. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lowell Observatory’s Kevin Schindler about how to see the once-in-a-lifetime event.


NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Roman Tkachenko

A year ago NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past a strange snowman-shaped object in the Kuiper Belt, far beyond Pluto. Named Arrokoth, it’s the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.  Scientists say it’s offered up several surprises, including clues into how planets formed in the early days of the solar system. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lowell Observatory’s Will Grundy about the new findings published in Science.

Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory

SpaceX launched 60 new Starlink satellites into orbit last week, in their quest to expand Internet access across the globe. The company hopes to have 1500 in orbit by the end of the year, and other companies are planning launches, too. That could mean tens of thousands of new satellites in the sky, which is bad news for astronomers. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny spoke with Lowell Observatory director Jeff Hall about how these “satellite constellations” threaten astronomical research.

Melissa Sevigny: Are they brighter than the usual satellite up there?

Melissa Sevigny

Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory will host a free open house tomorrow for its new plaza with six advanced telescopes. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports, it’s part of an expansion planned through 2023.

Lowell.edu

The expansion plans of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff include opening a new open-deck observatory, a movable-roof facility featuring six telescopes for use both by researchers and the public.

Karen Malis-Clark

This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo moon landing, and its unique connection to Northern Arizona…. If you were born before 1969, chances are you remember exactly where you were when announcement came that “the Eagle has landed.” Flagstaff resident Karen Malis Clark does. She was thirteen years old at the time and her father was literally a rocket scientist. He built an escape rocket for the Apollo astronauts to use if something went wrong during launch. In the last segment of our series this week, Karen Malis-Clark shares a bittersweet memory about her father and that time in history.


U.S. Geological Survey

This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing, and its unique connection to Northern Arizona. Every astronaut who walked on the moon first came to Flagstaff to train. That’s partly because it was home to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Branch of Astrogeology, founded by geologist Gene Shoemaker. Shoemaker’s secretary, Jody Swann, remembers what it was like to work there during the heyday of Apollo…and mapmaker Ray Jordan recalls the Surveyor missions, unmanned spacecraft that went to the moon just before Apollo. They’re today’s voices in our weeklong series.


U.S. Geological Survey

This week we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and its unique connection to Northern Arizona. Everyone who walked on the moon first trained in Flagstaff. That’s partly because the U.S. Geological Survey’s Branch of Astrogeology was here. Carolyn Shoemaker’s late husband Gene founded the branch. She remembers that exciting time in history. Gerald Schaber was a geologist with the branch and trained crews of astronauts of Northern Arizona’s dramatic landscapes of volcanoes and craters. They’re today’s voices in our weeklong series.


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