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American astronomer Percival Lowell

American astronomer Percival Lowell

H412/0302

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Percival Lowell. Portrait of Percival Lowell (1855-1916), American astronomer. Lowell was born into a wealthy Boston family and graduated from Harvard University, USA. His interest in astronomy was stimulated by Schiaparelli's report in 1877 of dark lines (canali) on Mars. Lowell believed there was intelligent life on Mars, a popular belief at the time. In 1894 he built a superb observatory in 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).

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