july 22, 2015

Lowell Observatory shares thrill of Pluto discovery

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PHOENIX – In celebration of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft exploration and the 85th anniversary of Pluto’s discovery, Lowell Observatory has posted a collection in the Arizona Memory Project, an online program of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records. The collection, “Year of Pluto,” includes letters, calculations, photographs and documents that illustrate the history of the search for Pluto, its discovery, and the subsequent public excitement and fascination.

“Excitement about Pluto is exploding as New Horizons continues to send photos about Pluto and the most outlying part of our solar system,” said Secretary of State Michele Reagan, whose office oversees the Arizona State Library. “We are so excited Lowell Observatory has shared items showcasing the exhilaration the discovery of Pluto ignited all over the world.”

In addition to the Arizona Memory Project, archived newspaper accounts about Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was discovered, are available online with the Arizona Digital Newspaper Program; including an entry from the Arizona Republican from Nov. 3, 1909, “Flagstaff the Center of Planetary News.”

If you crave more, call the Arizona State Archives to access files on Ft. Lowell Observatory; biographical information on the man who discovered Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh; and more in the Arizona Collection. For more information, contact 602-926-3720.