Talk:Percival Lowell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Constance Lowell[edit]

I find it strange that the article on Pluto mentions Lowell's wife, Constance, and a lawsuit delaying the search for Pluto, and yet this article mentions _nothing_ about either. Should I be upset about this, or glad that unlike too many biographical articles it doesn't mention everything including the psychological effects of his childhood breakfast foods? Shenme 06:34, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

He was dead by then... JCScaliger 00:50, 2 September 2006 (UTC)


Some media articles mention "Dr. Lowell," wondering if anyone had proff that he was a PhD? Electrawn 19:43, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


The book 'life on mars' by Paul Chambers describes Lowell as a wealthy businessman who bought his way into a position at Harvard university - this isn't reflected at all in the wiki article... sbandrews 12:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Maybe because that is a highly POV assertion that has no place here. Undoubtedly he was very wealthy.--Poetlister 16:00, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it is indeed a POV statement, and as I noted above - one that isn't reflected in the page, so my point is that both points of view need to be in the article to make it balanced, sbandrews 20:11, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I tried to clean the article up a bit by nutralizing some of the remaining language without changing the content. And I felt it was okay to remove the NPOV tag now. Dennis 17:59, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
The article is much better but I am still not happy with it - lowell, an amateur, ignored the professional astronomers of his day who proved his theories wrong by both spectroscopic analysis and optical tests on the telescopes of the day, as well as by plain old observation - he went on however to use his wealth and position to publicise his theories around the world - where does it say this in the article? Lowell was wrong and proven wrong, it needs saying here. sbandrews 19:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
There are a few pages on this site that I've personally chosen not to add or remove content from b/c I don't want to give anyone the presumption that I'm an authority or even have deep knowlege of the subject or subject matter. This is one of the articles I don't contribute to. I do remove vandalism and occasionally clean up the appearance or continuity, but I stay clear of the changing the content in any significant way. As to your argument, in my opinion 'argument' is the keyword. Wikipedia asks that we maintain a NPOV when contributing, not add both POV's of an argument or controversy. Networks have to do that with politicians. In my opinion, if the article is lacking facts then I think editors should contribute the missing information. If in this case, Lowell was wrong about something he promoted perhaps the info would be better included on the appropriate article. For example, in his biography we should mention he published a book on Martian Canals and in it theories that have been dismessed by scientific eveidence today. But in the Mars article, where Lowell is metioned, his efforts at propagating his theories might be more appropriate. I'm not sure, just a thought.
I would ask that people use caution about using POV language like "using his wealth to push his theory" or "amateur" astronomer. Any one who studies anything for 23 years would not be considered an amateur. And pushing theories is what scientists do, and often they're proven wrong or incomplete by later discovery. Their isn't a scientist alive today who sole focus isn't getting their work and theory and observation published. That's how they get funded.
These are my opinions for what they're worth. Dennis 20:13, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
but he was proven badly wrong and still continued to push his theory, that's the point I'm trying to make. He was an amateur because he wasn't hired, he bought his own observatory, he wasn't a trained scientist and it showed! I still have a lot to learn about what NPOV means, so I'm also happy for the tag to come off now - and I don't realy want to change the content of the page any more at the moment, I just want to leave a mark here on the talk page, so people know there is a question mark over the content, at least in some peoples minds, thanks for listening, regards sbandrews 22:07, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I hear ya! I've seen some really nasty edit wars on here and on Wikinews over everyone's interpretation of exactly what NPOV means. From my observations, neither side is usually right. The NPOV article on Wikipedia used to have some really good examples of key words or red flags to avoid when contributing. But the reality is that when so many people can contribute almost every article ends up slanting to one POV or another and then they start getting add ons and run on sentences when somone tags a POV contribution with 'on the other hand', 'alternatively', 'but then again' and then express the other POV. If you step back from most of these article with an editorial eye like OED or EB does most articles on this site would have 50% of the crap in them removed for being too POV and the remaining 50% would be scraped due to lack of citable sources. Criticism aside, I still use this site regularly to learn new things but unless the citations exist at the bottom of the page I take everything with a grain of salt knowing it's accuracy may be in question.
If it means anything, I think you're doing a good job and you're doing the right thing about expressing your doubts here. Some day another editor will come by add their thoughts or pick up your cause.Dennis 22:32, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


This week marks Wikisource's attempt to collect all the full works written by Lowell, and host them at s:Author:Percival Lowell. We could certainly use the help of Wikipedia folks who are willing to give Wikisource a try, since there is too much work for our small community alone. Sign up and give us a hand, if you need help, just ask! Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 03:13, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


Is the story true about his hypertension? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:40, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

File:Percival Lowell observing Venus from the Lowell Observatory in 1914.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Percival Lowell observing Venus from the Lowell Observatory in 1914.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on December 12, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2014-12-12. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:58, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day
Percival Lowell

American astronomer Percival Lowell at his observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. In this 1914 photograph Lowell is seen observing Venus high in the daytime sky, with the refracting telescope's 24-inch (61 cm) lens diameter stopped down to 3 inches (7.6 cm) to reduce the effects of atmospheric turbulence.

Lowell has been described as "the most influential popularizer of planetary science in America before Carl Sagan". His efforts to find Planet X eventually led to the discovery of Pluto, 14 years after his death. Pluto was named partly in recognition of Lowell's efforts, although the Planet X theory was subsequently disproved.

Photograph: Unknown; Restoration: Joe Haythornthwaite
ArchiveMore featured pictures...