Forty miles southeast of Flagstaff at a site called Happy Jack, the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope is nearing completion.
The DCT will be Lowell's flagship research telescope, performing unique observational programs. But through our programming and online content in partnership with Discovery Communications, we'll bring you an ongoing inside look at the DCT and how its fascinating science is done.
Take a photo tour of the DCT.
Summer 2011 - With DCT final integration and testing activities underway, Lowell staff is spending considerably more time out at Happy Jack as we transition into the commissioning phase. Astronomers, instrument scientists, and technical staff need a comfortable place to relax and rest after a long day (night!) of work. Thanks to generous donations to the "DCT First Light Challenge" with lead gifts from John and Ginger Giovale, and Bob and Julie Millis, Lowell was able to purchase a cabin for use as the DCT Astronomer's Lodge. Ideally situated just a half mile north of the DCT facility on 23 acres, the lodge was renovated in spring 2011 and formally dedicated in June.
The newly coated primary mirror will be installed into its mirror cell and support structure (pictured below) in July 2011, and integrated with the telescope mount in August. Meanwhile, DCT engineers are conducting final tests of the mirror support controls software and electronics systems.
The 4.3-meter primary mirror support structure