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Clyde Tombaugh, the American astronomer best known for his discovery of Pluto, was born on February 4, 1906, in Streator, Illinois. Growing up on a farm, Tombaugh developed a fascination with the night sky from an early age, which ultimately led him to a career in astronomy.
Tombaugh's journey in astronomy began when he constructed his own telescopes and conducted observations of the planets and stars from his family's farm. His passion for astronomy drove him to send his drawings of Mars and Jupiter to Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, where Percival Lowell had made earlier observations of Mars' canals.
In 1929, Tombaugh's dedication and talent earned him a job at Lowell Observatory, a turning point in his life and career. Here, he embarked on a systematic search for a ninth planet in our solar system, a task initiated by Percival Lowell. On February 18, 1930, Tombaugh's meticulous work paid off when he discovered Pluto, making him an instant celebrity in the world of astronomy.
Clyde Tombaugh's discovery of Pluto marked a significant milestone in our understanding of the solar system. He used a technique known as "blink comparison" to spot the distant and faint object by taking photographs of the night sky at different times and then comparing them to identify the moving object, Pluto. This discovery added a new member to the planetary family and prompted further exploration of the outer reaches of the solar system.
Tombaugh's contributions to astronomy extended beyond his discovery of Pluto. He also made valuable observations of Mars, Venus, and other celestial objects. He remained an active researcher and educator throughout his life, working at various institutions, including New Mexico State University.
Clyde Tombaugh passed away on January 17, 1997, leaving behind a legacy of discovery and dedication to the exploration of the cosmos. His work continues to inspire astronomers and space enthusiasts worldwide, and Pluto, the object he discovered, remains a subject of fascination and study in planetary science.
Analysis for Clyde Tombaugh,
1906-02-04 Unknown Time LMT
41° 7′ 15.1″ N 88° 50′ 7.3″ W
Streator, IL 61364, USA
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