Lowell Observatory established in 1894 by Percival Lowell atop a mesa overlooking downtown Flagstaff, Arizona, where we maintain a steadily growing physical plant.
In 1960, we established a dark-sky research site at Anderson Mesa, 10 miles southeast of Flagstaff. Today our 180-acre use permit area on the Coconino National Forest hosts several telescopes and the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer.
In 1994, in celebration of our centennial, we opened the Steele Visitor Center; as of 2015, well over a million people have passed through its doors. Over 100,000 visitors each year enjoy our tours, telescope viewing, exhibits, multimedia shows, and more. Percival Lowell inspired millions with his tireless advocacy of astronomy in the public eye, and we continue this commitment today.
In 2012, we embarked on our greatest adventure yet with the completion of the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), which is now known as the Lowell Discovery Telescope (LDT). This new facility, in full science operations as of 2015, vastly expands the breadth of our research capabilities for our astronomers and those of our institutional partners. Even more exciting, our partnership with Discovery Communications provides an avenue to bring our results and breathtaking images to hundreds of millions worldwide.
In December of 2017, Lowell Observatory announced a major expansion to the Mars Hill Campus that included an Open Deck Observatory, Universe Theatre, and Open Sky Planetarium.
We broke ground on the Giovale Open Deck Observatory in Summer of 2018 and the structure opened in October 2019.
Our next step is the Astronomy Discovery Center, scheduled to open in 2023.