Sunday TV special focuses on new Lowell telescope
Discovery Channel viewers can learn about its new Lowell Observatory telescope through a one-hour premiere TV program at 4 p.m. Sunday.
"Scanning the Skies: The Discovery Channel Telescope" documents the construction of the cutting-edge telescope southeast of Flagstaff.
The documentary will feature interviews with Dr. Jeff Hall, Director of Lowell Observatory and other Lowell astronomers about their mission to bring the latest discoveries from our solar system into every living room, classroom and social networking site.
Now that the telescope is finally online after a decade of construction, visitors to Discovery's news website, Discovery News, will be able to join astronomers for live coverage of night-sky events and get the latest discoveries from the Discovery Channel Telescope.
In addition to the premiere of this one-hour special, Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, will bring videos, images and research from the Discovery Channel Telescope to classrooms around the globe.
Through its partnerships with school districts worldwide, Discovery Education will provide teachers with lesson plans and resources to ignite students' curiosity and help them learn about astronomy and science. This initiative will take educators and students beyond the classroom with webinars, virtual field trips and interactions with experts in this field.
The Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT) is the fifth-largest telescope in the continental United States and one of the most technically sophisticated ground-based telescopes of its size. Measuring 78 feet tall and weighing more than six tons, the telescope resides at the Lowell Observatory in the Coconino National Forest 45 miles
south-southeast of Flagstaff at an elevation of 7,760 feet.
The telescope aims to study a range of research topics for partnered universities including Boston University, the University of Maryland and the University of Toledo.
"Scanning the Skies" was produced for Discovery Channel by Discovery Studios and Lone Wolf Documentary Group.
For updates on the documentary, go to discovery.com, "like" it at Facebook.com/Discovery and "follow" it on Twitter @Discovery and @DiscoveryEd.
Construction and commissioning of the telescope and associated infrastructure cost approximately $53 million. The telescope will significantly augment Lowell Observatory's observational capability and enable pioneering studies in a number of important research areas. First light, or first scientific use of the telescope, took place in May. For more information go online to www.lowell.edu/dct.php.