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An unusual explorer who discovered Pluto

An unusual explorer who discovered Pluto

In orbit near Earth, Tombaugh was looking for natural satellites that could house space stations.

Today, American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh has died, famous for discovering Pluto, which was then considered the 9th planet in the solar system. Tombaugh was discovered by Pluto on February 18, 1930, when he was working as a young researcher at Lowell Observatory in Arizona. He was only 24 years old at the time of that discovery that had made him famous for his entire life. Pluto was considered the last planet of the solar system for much of the 20th century. It was not until 2006 that Pluto was removed from the list of planets and was placed in the category of dwarf planets.

An interesting story is how Pluto got its name. Namely, after Tombaugh’s discovery, there was a problem of how to name a new planet. There were many proposals, and an 11-year-old English girl from Oxford, named Venetia Burney, suggested the name Pluto. This name has been accepted for a number of reasons. Namely, Pluto was the name of the Roman god of the underworld, so it was appropriate for a planet that had been hidden from explorers for a long time. Furthermore, the initial letters were identical to the initials of the famous astronomer Percival Lowell, who had predicted the existence of the planet many years earlier. In addition, at the observatory named after Lowell, Pluto was discovered.

Discoverer Clyde Tombaugh was unusual in that he was reportedly interested in UFO phenomena. He conducted research on celestial bodies in close orbits around the earth, searching for supposedly Earth’s natural satellites that would be suitable for the placement of space stations. Tombaugh has died today at the age of 90 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is very interesting that a certain amount of his ash, about 30 grams, was launched on NASA’s New Horizons probe on Pluto’s first 2006 exploration mission.

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