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Lowell, Percival,1855–1916, American astronomer, b. Boston, grad. Harvard, 1876; brother of Abbott Lawrence Lowell and Amy Lowell. He visited Korea and Japan, where he acted as counselor and foreign secretary to the Korean Special Mission to the United States and wrote several books about East Asia. Becoming interested in astronomy, he established (1894) the Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff, Ariz., and devoted himself to making personal observations. It was his belief that Mars was inhabited and that the striations on the Martian surface were artificial waterways. He also contended that there was a planet beyond Neptune (seemingly confirmed in 1930 by the discovery of Pluto, but Pluto is now regarded as a dwarf planetdwarf planet,
a nonluminous body of rock or gas that orbits the sun and has a rounded shape due to its gravity. Unlike a planet, a dwarf planet is not capable of clearing its orbit of smaller objects by collision, capture, or other means.
..... Click the link for more information. ). From 1902 he was nonresident professor of astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Among his many writings on astronomy are Mars and Its Canals (1906) and The Genesis of Planets (1916).
See biography by A. L. Lowell (1935).
Born Mar. 13, 1855, in Boston; died Nov. 12, 1916, in Flagstaff, Ariz. American astronomer. Investigator of the planet Mars.
Lowell graduated from Harvard University in 1876. In 1894 he constructed his own observatory near Flagstaff. As a result of many years of observation, he established the nature of the seasonal variations, including visibility, of the “canals” on the Martian surface, which had been discovered by G. Schiaparelli. In 1915, Lowell calculated the orbit of a planet that was subsequently discovered in 1930 and named Pluto. His principal works were printed in publications of the Lowell Observatory.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Mars i zhizn’ na nem. Odessa, 1912.