Percival Lowell was a prominent Bostonian who enjoyed great wealth and greater connections. In the 1890s, excited by Giovanni Schiaparelli’s study of Mars, he decided to dedicate his personal resources to the study of astronomy: he built a private observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Lowell would go on to have a huge influence on early science fiction, and the work he started would eventually lead to the discovery of Pluto. It is therefore very fitting that the Lowell Observatory has launched the Lowell Amateur Research Initiative (LARI).
LARI hopes to bring together professional and amateur astronomers so that amateurs have an opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research. LARI is also designed to expand Lowell Observatory’s public outreach efforts to promote greater awareness of astronomy and related sciences.
Available research opportunities include everything from examining old LONEOS images to find asteroids, to monitoring star-forming regions to search for outburst events, to identifying and documenting some of the 500 historic scientific instruments at Lowell Observatory.
To get started, visit the website to examine the opportunities in detail, and then create your LARI account.