A Signal from Mars

Welcome to A Signal from Mars, the new blog from Lowell Observatory’s Putnam Collection Center. We thought this would be a fun way to share our collections with you!

Many people know Lowell Observatory from our founder Percival Lowell’s Mars studies and theories about an intelligent civilization on the Red Planet. In fact, the inspiration for our blog’s title came from a 1901 song written by E.T. Paull at the height of the Mars craze. Others may recognize Lowell Observatory as the place where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930.

Although our collections are rich with materials that document these two famous aspects of our history (and we will definitely post some of them), we have so much more to share. Our goal is to highlight hidden treasures from our collections that the public may not otherwise see, and we’ll also give you an inside look at some of our projects and activities.

Let’s start with these drawings of Jupiter made by Lowell Observatory astronomer E.C. Slipher in 1917-1918. Slipher was a planetary astronomer and photographer, known especially for his studies of Mars. He worked at Lowell from 1908 until his death in 1964.