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Clyde TOMBAUGH

American Clyde TOMBAUGH

born Clyde William TOMBAUGH

American astronomer best known for discovering the dwarf planet Pluto

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on February 04, 1906 in Streator, Illinois, USA
Died: on January 17, 1997 in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA


Biography

Tombaugh was born in Streator, Illinois. After his family moved to Burdett, Kansas, Tombaugh's plans for attending college were frustrated when a hailstorm ruined his family's farm crops. Starting in 1926, he built several telescopes with lenses and mirrors he ground himself. He sent drawings of Jupiter and Mars, as well as his telescopes to the Lowell Observatory. These resulted in a job offer. Tombaugh was employed at the Lowell Observatory from 1929 to 1945.

Following his discovery of Pluto, Tombaugh earned bachelor's and master's degrees in astronomy from the University of Kansas in 1936 and 1938. During World War II he taught naval personnel navigation at Northern Arizona University. He worked at White Sands Missile Range in the early 1950s, and taught astronomy at New Mexico State University from 1955 until his retirement in 1973.

The asteroid 1604 Tombaugh, discovered in 1931, is named after him. He discovered hundreds of asteroids, beginning with 2839 Annette in 1929, mostly as a by-product of his search for Pluto and his searches for other celestial objects. Tombaugh named some of them after his wife, children and grandchildren. The Royal Astronomical Society awarded him the Jackson-Gwilt Medal in 1931.

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See Also :

- Category Astronomer, Geographer