Clyde Tombaugh Facts

Clyde Tombaugh Facts
Clyde Tombaugh (February 4, 1906 to January 17, 1997) was a great astronomer that is the reason we know so much about space today.
Interesting Clyde Tombaugh Facts:
Tombaugh was born in Streator, Illinois but moved with his family to Burdett, Kansas in 1922.
Tombaugh's plans for attending college were unfulfilled when a hailstorm ruined his family's farm crops.
Starting in 1926, he started to build several telescopes with lenses and mirrors all by himself.
He sent drawings of Jupiter and Mars to the Lowell Observatory, who then offered him a job. Tombaugh worked there from 1929 to 1945.
Succeeding his discovery of Pluto, Tombaugh earned bachelor's and master's degrees in astronomy from the University of Kansas in 1936 and 1938.
He taught naval personnel navigation at Northern Arizona University during World War II.
He worked at the White Sands Missile Range in the early 1950s, but then taught astronomy at New Mexico State University from 1955 until 1973 when he retired.
The asteroid 1604 Tombaugh was discovered in 1931 and it is named after him.
He discovered hundreds of asteroids. The first asteroid Tombaugh discovered was 2839 Annette in 1929.
It was mostly discovered as a by-product of his search for Pluto and his searches for other celestial objects.
Tombaugh named some asteroids after his wife, children, and grandchildren.
In 1934 The Royal Astronomical Society awarded him the Jackson-Gwilt Medal.
In August 1992, JPL scientist Robert Staehle called Tombaugh, requesting permission to visit his planet. "I told him he was welcome to it," Tombaugh later said, "though he's got to go one long, cold trip." The call eventually led to the launch of the New Horizons space probe which was sent to Pluto in 2006.
Tombaugh died on January 17, 1997, at the age of 90 when he was in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
A tiny portion of his ashes were placed aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. The container is inscribed to say: "Interned herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system's 'third zone'. Adelle and Muron's boy, Patricia's husband, Annette and Alden's father, astronomer, teacher, punster, and friend: Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906-1997)".
Tombaugh was survived by his widow, Patricia who lived from 1912 to 2012, and their children, daughter Annette and son Alden.
Tombaugh is the great uncle of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw through the daughter of his youngest brother, Robert M., Tombaugh.


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