Percival Lowell, US astronomer

Percival Lowell, US astronomer

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Credit: GARY BROWN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Caricature of the US astronomer and mathematician Percival Lowell (1855-1916). Lowell is best known as the astronomer who fueled speculation that there were canals on Mars. He founded the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. His most important contribution to astronomy was his prediction of the existence of a ninth planet outside the orbit of Neptune. Although Lowell searched for it from 1905 to 1914, it was not until 1930 that Pluto was found (by Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory). The choice of the name Pluto and its symbol were partly influenced by his initials, P.L.

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