Astronomer Profile: Dr. Dave Schleicher

Note: Seven Lowell Observatory astronomers will participate in the 2017 Lowell Observatory Solar Eclipse Experience in Madras, Oregon on August 20-21. We will profile each in separate blogs. Today, we introduce Dr. Dave Schleicher.


Dave Schleicher earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1983.

Research Interests

Dr. Schleicher’s major research interests include the physical properties, chemical composition, and behavior of comets. He began using Lowell telescopes in 1979 while a graduate student at Arizona State University and joined the Lowell staff in 1985.

Dr. Schleicher uses a variety of observational tools and theoretical modeling in his studies. In 1986, he co-discovered the periodic variability of Comet Halley—a discovery that profoundly affected the interpretation of other measurements of Halley, including those from the Giotto and Vega spacecraft. He has since obtained support observations for all other comets visited by the spacecraft.

Fun Fact

Dr. Schleicher’s interest in astronomy began before second grade while looking through a neighbor’s small telescope. This soon became his hobby but when he chose astronomy as a career, he realized he needed another hobby and took up photography. Today he is an accomplished photographer and has taken pictures around the world while traveling for telescope observing sessions or professional astronomy meetings.

Lowell Observatory Solar Eclipse Experience Activities

Dr. Schleicher will be on hand to talk about astronomy and answer questions about the cosmos.

By Kevin Schindler, Lowell Observatory Historian


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