Richly illustrated coffee table book highlights the history and recent renovation of Lowell’s iconic telescope.
Lowell’s Clark refractor is one of the most storied telescopes in the world. A new book, The Far End of the Journey: Lowell Observatory’s 24-inch Clark Telescope, shares the legend of this influential instrument. The book will be released on February 18, 2016.
Illustrated with more than 300 images, The Far End of the Journey covers the significant and charming history of this telescope, from its quirky construction and legacy of groundbreaking research, to famous visitors and its recent renovation.
The book is significant because it brings together, for the first time, numerous pieces of important scientific, cultural, and local history about this American treasure.
Percival Lowell commissioned construction of the Clark Telescope in 1895 for his studies of Mars, in support of his controversial theories about life on that planet. The telescope later served as V.M. Slipher’s workhorse in obtaining early evidence of the expanding nature of the universe. In the 1960s, artists and scientists used the Clark to create detailed lunar maps in support of the Apollo missions to the moon.
In addition to its use for groundbreaking scientific research, the Clark has also served as a critical tool for building public awareness about the wonders of the universe. Tens of thousands of visitors view through the Clark every year, while Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, the Walt Disney Company, Leonard Nimoy, and others have filmed educational programs at the Clark.
Archival Restoration Specialist Peter Rosenthal contributed a chapter about the renovation; David DeVorkin, Senior Curator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, wrote the foreword; and Observatory Sole Trustee Lowell Putnam added an afterword.
Lowell Observatory is a private, non-profit research institution founded in 1894 by Percival Lowell. The Observatory has been the site of many important discoveries including the detection of the large recessional velocities (redshift) of galaxies by Vesto Slipher in 1912-1914 (a result that led ultimately to the realization the universe is expanding), and the discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930. Today, Lowell’s 14 astronomers use ground-based telescopes around the world, telescopes in space, and NASA planetary spacecraft to conduct research in diverse areas of astronomy and planetary science. The Observatory welcomes about 80,000 visitors each year to its Mars Hill campus in Flagstaff, Arizona for a variety of tours, telescope viewing, and special programs. Lowell Observatory currently operates four research telescopes at its Anderson Mesa dark sky site east of Flagstaff and the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope near Happy Jack, Arizona.
For More Information: Contact Josh Bangle (Communications Manager) at Lowell Observatory at (928) 607-1974.