by SPACE.com Staff
A privately funded telescope has taken its first images, capping off a two decades-long quest to construct the facility for research and public engagement.
The Discovery Channel Telescope is an observatory with a 14-foot (4.3-meter) mirror built near Happy Jack, Ariz., by the Lowell Observatory and Discovery Communications, the parent company of television’s Discovery Channel. The telescope’s opening was marked with a gala on Saturday (July 21) at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff and featured a keynote speech from Neil Armstrong, the first person ever on the moon.
“The First Light Gala is a historic event in the annals of Lowell Observatory,” Jeffrey Hall, director of Lowell Observatory, said in a statement. “It marks completion of our spectacular new research facility, initiation of superb projects that will bring our research to millions through our partnership with Discovery Communications. We are honored to be part of it and grateful to all who have helped make it a reality.”