Tombaugh, Clyde William, 1906-1997.

Clyde William Tombaugh was born February 4, 1906 on a farm near Streator, IL. The family moved to a farm in Kansas in 1922. He was hired to conduct planet-search photography in 1929 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ. On February 18, 1930, Tombaugh discovered the ninth planet Pluto. The official announcement of the discovery was made March 13. The discovery led to awards and a scholarship to the University of Kansas where he started as a freshman in 1932, receiving his B.A. in 1936. In 1934, Tombaugh married Patricia (Patsy) Edson with whom he had two children. In 1939, Tombaugh received his M.A. from the University of Kansas. The family moved to Las Cruces, NM in 1946, and Tombaugh began work with the White Sands Proving Ground (WSPG). In 1953-55, he initiated and led the Near Earth Satellite Search at Lowell Observatory. The project transferred to the Physical Science Laboratory (PSL) at New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 1955. During 1958-73, Tombaugh initiated and led photographic planetary patrol work. From 1961-70, Tombaugh also taught astronomy half-time. 1968 saw the beginnings of the Astronomy graduate program at NMSU, finalized on July 1, 1970. In 1973, Tombaugh retired from NMSU as Emeritus Professor of Astronomy. He wrote "Out of the Darkness, the Planet Pluto," an autobiographical account of the discovery published with co-author Patrick Moore in 1980. Clyde W. Tombaugh died at his home on Jan. 17, 1997.

From the description of Clyde W. Tombaugh papers, 1892-2004. (New Mexico State University). WorldCat record id: 57517898


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