ON Stage

Streaming | I Heart Pluto Festival

January 17, 2021

6:00pm - 7:00pm MST

The I Heart Pluto Festival is going virtual! Show your love for our frosty ninth planet that was discovered in cold and snowy Flagstaff, Arizona by Clyde Tombaugh 91 years ago on February 18, 1930.

Wednesday, February 17

When the Moon Hits Your Eye

6 – 7pm MST | NOFS Tour, with special welcome by Jim and Charlene Christy |  Watch on YouTube

A tour of the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS) and the telescope used to discover Charon. Featuring a special welcome by Jim and Charlene Christy.

Jim Christy discovered Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, off images captured at the Naval Observatory in 1978. This facility is coincidentally located just four miles from where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto nearly a half century earlier. Naval Observatory scientists will give a rare tour of the facility, focusing on the telescope used in Charon’s discovery.

Jim & Charlene Christy

Wednesday, February 17

Imagining Pluto: The Artist’s Journey to Envision Pluto Through the Ages

7 – 8pm MST | IAAA Artists Dr. Dan Durda, Marilynn Flynn, and Ron Miller |  Link TBA

With artists from the International Association of Astronomical Artists (IAAA), moderated by Jon Raimer.

Dr. Daniel DurdaMarilynn FlynnRon MillerJon Raimer

Thursday, February 18

Family Night at Pluto

5:30 – 6pm MST | Victoria Girgis |  Watch on YouTube

Family-friendly activities, with Lowell Observatory Educator Victoria Girgis and other Lowell Educators.

Join Victoria for the story of Venetia Burney, the 11-year-old English girl who named Pluto. Then watch as Lowell educators recreate the conditions of Pluto’s surface using liquid nitrogen in a display that’s sure to be fun for the whole family.

Victoria Girgis

Thursday, February 18

Following in Clyde’s Footsteps: Pluto Discovery Day Tour

6 – 7pm MST | Kevin Schindler |  Watch on YouTube

This tour retraces Clyde Tombaugh’s day of discovery with a tour around Flagstaff. It begins at Tombaugh’s apartment at Lowell and includes stops at Karma Sushi Bar Grill (formerly called the Black Cat Café, where Clyde ate his breakfast and lunch), Aspen Sports (previously the post office, where Clyde picked up the observatory’s mail), the Orpheum (where Clyde saw a movie the night he discovered Pluto) and more.

Kevin Schindler is the Lowell Observatory Historian.

Kevin Schindler

Thursday, February 18

We Heart Pluto

7 – 8pm MST | Open Discussion |  Watch on YouTube

An open discussion about the ongoing fascination with Pluto, with Alden Tombaugh, Dave Eicher, Alan Stern, and Coral Evans, and moderated by Dr. Jeff Hall.

Ninety-one years after its discovery, Pluto continues to excite the imagination of both scientists and the public. This discussion will explore our scientific, cultural, and historic connections to this beloved world and how we celebrate it.

Alden Tombaugh is Clyde’s son, Dave Eicher is Editor-in-Chief of Astronomy Magazine, Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist and leads NASA’s New Horizons mission that explored the Pluto system, Coral Evans is the former Mayor of Flagstaff, and Dr. Jeff Hall is the Director of Lowell Observatory.

Event Partners

  • Lowell Observatory

Venue Details

Lowell Observatory Youtube Channel

Flagstaff, AZ 86001