Biography of Percival Lowell

By A. Lawrence Lowell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX
PLUTO FOUND1

PERCIVAL had long intended that his Observatory should be permanent, and that his work, especially on the planets, should be forever carried on there with an adequate foundation. Save for an income to his wife during her lifetime, he therefore left his whole fortune in a trust modeled on the lines of the Lowell Institute in Boston, created eighty years earlier by his kinsman John Lowell, Jr. The will provides for a single trustee who appoints his own successor; the first being his cousin Guy Lowell, the next the present trustee, Percival's nephew, Roger Lowell Putnam. Dr. V. M. Slipher and Mr. C. O. Lampland, who have been at the Observatory from an early time, are the astronomers in charge, carrying on the founder's principles of constantly enlarging the field of study, and using for the purpose the best instrumental equipment to be procured.

Of course the search was continued for the planet X, but without success, and for a time almost without hope, not only because its body is too small to show a disk, but also by reason of the multitude of stars of like size in that crowded part of the heavens, the Milky Way, where it is extremely

____________________
1
Much of the following account is taken from "Searching Out Pluto" by Roger Lowell Putnam and Dr. V. M. Slipher in the Scientific Monthly for June, 1932, by whose courtesy it is used.

-195-

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