The 31" telescope is used not only by astronomers at Lowell but by NURO, a consortium of educational institutions including Northern Arizona University.
This robotically operated, reflecting telescope was built by AstroMechanics. Originally owned by NASA and then operated on loan by the USGS for a moon-mapping project, the telescope was transferred to Lowell’s custody in 1972, where it could be better maintained and used for expanded lunar and planetary work.
Instruments & Uses
The telescope later became a primary research tool for the National Undergraduate Research Observatory (NURO). This consortium of mainly undergraduate education institutions from around the country, both public and private, provides training and research experiences for its students. NURO partners share 120 nights per year on the telescope, with instrumentation and observer support provided by Northern Arizona University through its Department of Physics and Astronomy. Astronomers and students at the member schools collaborate on one or more research projects and conduct their own private research.
NURO currently has one key project: searching for O-type binaries in clusters.