The Laurence Lowell telescope has reopened to the public after undergoing renovations totaling about $155,000 over the past year.
The telescope, also known as the Pluto Discovery Telescope, was built in 1928 for the purpose of completing the search for "Planet X," according to historians with the Lowell Observatory. Clyde Tombaugh used the instrument to discover Pluto in 1930.
In January 2017, the telescope was taken out of its dome and underwent a transformation by a team of people at the Lowell Observatory funded mostly by donations and a Kickstarter campaign.
The restoration included removal and restoration of the telescope, structural work, exhibit renovation and dome removal and repair, according to the Lowell Observatory website.
The biggest change to the structure is the color. The team removed the iconic red paint and found silver underneath.
"The color of the telescope actually changed," said Molly Baker, spokeswoman for the Lowell Observatory. "Our renovation team went under and took off all the paint layers and they discovered a silver paint underneath."
Some may have disagreed with the change in color but Baker says the team ultimately decided it was the right thing to do.
"We decided it would be more historically correct," she said.
The Pluto telescope is technically known as an astrograph, a telescope designed to take photos of space, and renovations were also made to the photographic plate holders and other accessories, according to the observatory.
In addition to the telescope itself, the dome and building which it is housed in underwent renovations as well. The wooden dome was built in 1929 and the beams were starting to deteriorate and rotting. Metal siding and windows were replaced, the stone was sealed and the wood refurbished.
"It's just amazing what they did in there," said Baker. "It's beautiful."
Tours are conducted daily and the lower part of the telescope's building is a new exhibit. For more information click here.