A small mausoleum located on a windswept mountainside is the final resting place of American businessman-turned-astronomer, Percival Lowell, whose work led to the discovery of Pluto.
Just steps away from a historic telescope on the property of Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory, the small, domed structure contains the remains of Percival Lowell, a wealthy and connected member of a prominent Boston family. While his background included running cotton mills and diplomatic visits to Asia, Lowell became fascinated by what he thought were “canals” on Mars and decided, in his late 30s, to study astronomy and map them.
Percival Lawrence Lowell ( March 13, 1855 – November 12, 1916) was an American businessman, author, mathematician, and astronomer who fueled speculation that there were canals on Mars. He founded the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and formed the beginning of the effort that led to the discovery of Pluto 14 years after his death.