Old observatory

Arthur Adel climbs a ladder to check out the construction of the Atmospheric Research Observatory on southeast campus in 1952.

Let NAU take you back in time this summer with tidbits of university history.

Star Struck

When renowned scientist Arthur Adel began researching and teaching on the Flagstaff campus in 1948, he helped usher in “the modern period” for the university.

Adel, formerly at Lowell Observatory, taught mathematics and physics. He gained national notoriety as one of 16 world-class astronomers chosen to speak at the Centennial meetings of the Royal Meteorological Society of London and Oxford.

In 1952, the Air Materiel Command, a section of the U.S. Air Force that was interested in “flying disks,” built the Atmospheric Research Observatory for Adel’s research use. NAU named the Adel Mathematics building in his honor.

Today, the observatory is still active, attracting sky-viewing visitors throughout the year.

Photo courtesy of Northern Arizona University, Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives. (NAU.ARC.1952-1-16).