All events are free. Click on the relevant activity link to watch the event, ask questions of presenters, and be a part of history.
6 – 7pm MST | Dr. Alan Stern | Watch on YouTube
The definition of planethood adopted by the IAU in 2006 makes little sense scientifically, and has been controversial since its inception. Dr. Stern will discuss each of these points, as well as the alternative, and superior, Geophysical Planet Definition used by most planetary scientists. Stern will then describe several ways in which the IAU’s reputation has been hurt by its ill-advised and flawed decision of 2006.
Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist and leads NASA’s New Horizons mission that explored the Pluto system.
6 – 7pm MST | Open discussion | Watch on YouTube
An open discussion with Alden Tombaugh, David Eicher and Dr. Bill Sheehan, and moderated by Kevin Schindler.
He’s known as the man who discovered Pluto, but there was much more to Clyde Tombaugh. He was devoted to family, a spiritual man, a punster, and his favorite planet wasn’t what you might think.
Alden Tombaugh is Clyde’s son, Dave Eicher is Editor-in-Chief of Astronomy Magazine, Dr. Sheehan is an astronomy historian, and Kevin Schindler is the Lowell Observatory Historian.
6 – 7pm MST | Lowell Observatory Educators & Kevin Schindler |
Watch on YouTube
Lowell Observatory educators and historians explore the hallowed halls of the observatory, sharing Lowell’s Pluto heritage with stops at the Lawrence Lowell (Pluto Discovery) Telescope, underground vault containing one of the Pluto discovery plates, Clyde Tombaugh’s apartment, the Putnam Collection Center, and more.
6 – 7pm MST | Dr. Will Grundy | Watch on YouTube
Six years after the New Horizons flyby changed the Pluto from a faint point of light to a complex double planet, scientists are still investigation how it really works. Analysis of the data returned by New Horizons will continue for decades to come, but that’s not the only source. Crucial additional information comes from laboratory studies and from telescopes.
Dr. Will Grundy is a planetary scientist and head of the New Horizons mission’s Surface Composition Team.
6 – 7pm MST | NOFS Tour, with special welcome by Jim and Charlene Christy | Watch on YouTube
A tour of the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS) and the telescope used to discover Charon. Featuring a special welcome by Jim and Charlene Christy.
Jim Christy discovered Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, off images captured at the Naval Observatory in 1978. This facility is coincidentally located just four miles from where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto nearly a half century earlier. Naval Observatory scientists will give a rare tour of the facility, focusing on the telescope used in Charon’s discovery.
7 – 8pm MST | IAAA Artists Dr. Dan Durda, Marilynn Flynn, and Ron Miller | Link TBA
With artists from the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), moderated by Jon Raimer.
5:30 – 6pm MST | Victoria Girgis | Watch on YouTube
Family-friendly activities, with Lowell Observatory Educator Victoria Girgis and other Lowell Educators.
Join Victoria for the story of Venetia Burney, the 11-year-old English girl who named Pluto. Then watch as Lowell educators recreate the conditions of Pluto’s surface using liquid nitrogen in a display that’s sure to be fun for the whole family.
6 – 7pm MST | Kevin Schindler | Watch on YouTube
This tour retraces Clyde Tombaugh’s day of discovery with a tour around Flagstaff. It begins at Tombaugh’s apartment at Lowell and includes stops at Karma Sushi Bar Grill (formerly called the Black Cat Café, where Clyde ate his breakfast and lunch), Aspen Sports (previously the post office, where Clyde picked up the observatory’s mail), the Orpheum (where Clyde saw a movie the night he discovered Pluto) and more.
Kevin Schindler is the Lowell Observatory Historian.
7 – 8pm MST | Open Discussion | Watch on YouTube
An open discussion about the ongoing fascination with Pluto, with Alden Tombaugh, Dave Eicher, Alan Stern, and Coral Evans, and moderated by Dr. Jeff Hall.
Ninety-one years after its discovery, Pluto continues to excite the imagination of both scientists and the public. This discussion will explore our scientific, cultural, and historic connections to this beloved world and how we celebrate it.
Alden Tombaugh is Clyde’s son, Dave Eicher is Editor-in-Chief of Astronomy Magazine, Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist and leads NASA’s New Horizons mission that explored the Pluto system, Coral Evans is the former Mayor of Flagstaff, and Dr. Jeff Hall is the Director of Lowell Observatory.
An exhibition featuring members of the International Association of Astronomical Artists.
The exhibition features artwork from artists and planetary scientists, Dr. William K. Hartmann, Dr. Dan Durda, and Dr. Mark Garlick. It also includes works from artists Richard Bizley, Lynette Cook, Don Dixon, David Hardy, Steve Hobbs, Adrianna Allen, Pat Rawlings, Michelle Rouch, Marilynn Flynn, and Simon Kregar. All artwork is for sale.
The International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), is a non-profit organization whose members implement and participate in astronomical and space art projects, promote education about space art and foster international cooperation in artistic work inspired by the exploration of the Universe.
Ham radio operators around the world can tune in to this celebration of Pluto by the Northern Arizona DX Association.
The Northern Arizona DX Association will air a special event on station W7P from Saturday, February 13 through Sunday February 21 every year until 2030 to commemorate the discovery of Pluto from Lowell Observatory by Clyde Tombaugh. Every year will feature a new QSL card and a special endorsement is available if you contact Doug Tombaugh, N3PDT, Clyde’s nephew.