Percival Lowell, US astronomer

Percival Lowell, US astronomer

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Percival Lowell (1855-1916), US astronomer and mathematician. 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 Lowell's initials (P.L.). Photographed by the J. E. Purdy photographic studio in Boston, USA, circa 1904.

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