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W7P - the Year of Pluto Special Event - December 2015

Pluto and Flagstaff, Arizona are forever linked in history. On February 18th 1930, the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff using a blink comparator and photographic plates taken at the observatory. Eighty five years later, NASA's New Horizons probe reached the Pluto system, imaging Pluto, Charon, and the other small moons.

In celebration of the 85th anniversary of its discovery and the arrival of New Horizons probe, the year 2015 has been designated the "Year of Pluto". To celebrate, the members of the Northern Arizona DX Association (NADXA) are sponsoring a special event using the call sign W7P from 0001Z December 5th to 2400Z December 13. Operations will take place at Lowell Observatory from inside the Pluto discovery telescope dome, as well as from the homes of club members using both CW & SSB. There will also be a very special guest operator; Doug Tombaugh N3PDT, nephew of Clyde Tombaugh who will operate for three days during the early part of the event.

Any station who contacts W7P will be eligible for a beautiful glossy commemorative certificate printed on heavy card stock that features a New Horizons image of Pluto, pictures of Lowell telescopes, a brief history of Pluto's discovery, and a description of the New Horizons communication system. A QSL card will be included with each certificate request. The certificate is available for $5 for USA addresses and $7 for DX addresses. Single QSL card requests require an SASE or a minimum $2 donation for both USA and DX addresses.



Please send Certificate and QSL Card requests to:

W7P - Northern Arizona DX Association
6315 Townsend Winona Road
Flagstaff, AZ 86004-1493
United States of America

Certificates and QSL cards will be sent out starting in mid-January, 2016.

The W7P Year of Pluto Special Event is LIVE!!!

Once upon a time Bob Wertz (NF7E) had the idea of doing a special event at Lowell Observatory to celebrate The Year of Pluto. He had talked with Doug Tombaugh (Clyde Tombaugh's nearest living relative) during the Route 66 On The Air special event a few years back so invited him to come out and participate. With the members of the NADXA, a bunch of guest operators from around the area, and Doug, the event really took off.

A special thanks to Samantha Christensen, Lowell Observatory Outreach Manager, for coordinating the access and support of the W7P Year of Pluto Special Event.

Inside the Pluto Discovery Dome, NADXA President and W7P event lead Bob Wertz (NF7E) and Norm (N7VF) work Station #2

NADXA member Dave (W7FYW) handles Station #1

The NADXA trailer is set up outside the Pluto Discovery Dome with its tri-band beam, a dipole, and two verticals. Another multi-band dipole is in the trees on the other side of the dome.

Bob (NF7E) works station #1 while the live map is updated showing the locations of all the contacts being made.

Doug Tombaugh (N3PDT) working Station 1 inside the Dome below a photo of his uncle, Clyde Tombaugh

Guest operators Cathy (N7HVN) and Art (AB7FB) came down from Las Vegas to help out.

Doug Tombaugh working Station 2

The contacts are adding up!

Doug and his wife Rebecca outside the Dome with the bust of Clyde Tombaugh

A group photo outside the Pluto Discovery Dome.
(LtoR) Dave Brown (W7FYW), Rebecca Tombaugh, Doug Tombaugh (N3PDT), Bob Wertz (NF7E), Samantha Christensen (Lowell Outreach Manager), & Kevin Schindler (Lowell Historian)

Doug with the Astrograph that his uncle used to discover Pluto.

Bob Wertz (NF7E, NADXA President), Samantha Christensen (Lowell Outreach Manager), and Doug Tombaugh with the Pluto Discovery Astrograph.

NADXA Member Bob (AF7EL) at Station 2

Ron Gerlak (KG7OH) at Station 2

Doug (N3PDT) and Bob (NF7E) at the NADXA Club Trailer


NADXA Participating Members

NF7E Bob
N7VF Norm
AA7DK Dennis
W7FYW Dave
N6ME Paul
W7CRF Carlos
NJ0W David

"Pluto was part of their mental landscape, the one they had constructed to organize their thinking about the solar system and their own place within it. Pluto seemed like the edge of existence. Ripping Pluto out of that landscape caused what felt like an inconceivably empty hole."
Author: Mike Brown


360-degree Panoramas of the W7P Operating Location

CLICK HERE to see a 360-degree panorama of the W7P operation inside of the dome.

CLICK HERE to see a 360-degree panorama of the W7P setup outside of the dome.

CLICK HERE to see a 360-degree panorama of the Pluto Discovery Astrograph on the second floor of the dome.

These panoramas may take a moment to load. They will auto-rotate 5 seconds after loading is complete.



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