Walking approximately 1 mile throughout the day during group activities; periods of standing; mostly flat, paved sidewalks; elevation gain of about 100 feet. An additional elective walk of just over 1/2 mile will be available for those interested. Getting on/off vehicle; short drives within Flagstaff totaling approximately 8 miles for the day; about 1/2 hours, with stops for activities.
At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes a variety of choices including waffles, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruits, pastries, bagels, cereals, and muffins, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
After shuttling or walking to our classroom at Northern Arizona University, our morning presentation will be given by a university professor on our place in the universe. This lecture will provide an overview of the universe from its origins – Big Bang Theory – to how stars are born, the creation of our solar system, and current discoveries/thoughts on subjects such as dark matter, string theory, and more. We’ll then take a short walk to our lunch location.
At the university dining facility on the south campus, we’ll enjoy a wide selection of hot and cold items including access to a salad and soup bar, as well as a variety of other choices, plus soft drinks, milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Boarding our vehicles, we’ll then travel to Lowell Observatory for a walking history field trip led by a Lowell Observatory docent, during which we will see the 24-inch Clark Telescope that Percival Lowell used to study Mars, the Pluto Discovery Scope, the Rotunda, and the Exhibit Hall. Founded in 1894 by astronomer Percival Lowell, the observatory is one of the earliest built in the U.S.A. As such, and due to its reputation for firsts including, according to the Lowell Observatory’s website, “the first detection of the expanding nature of the universe, the discovery of Pluto, moon mapping for the Apollo program to the moon, the rings of Uranus…” – it holds a special place in both American and global history. The innovations have not ceased, however, evidenced by the impressive 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope, which has been fully functioning since 2015.
At a local restaurant, we’ll have plated meals with salad and a non-alcoholic beverage; other beverages available for purchase.
After making our way back to campus, we’ll gather for a classroom presentation by a professor emeritus of astronomy on Cultural Astronomy. What did the Ancestral Puebloans know about the sky, how did they know it, and how do we know that they knew it?