Clyde William Tombaugh (February 4, 1906 – January 17, 1997) was an American astronomer. He discovered Pluto in 1930, the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt. At the time of discovery, Pluto was considered a planet but was later reclassified as a dwarf planet. Tombaugh also discovered many asteroids. He also called for the serious scientific research of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs.
Tombaugh was born in Streator, Illinois, the son of Adella Pearl (Chritton) and Muron Dealvo Tombaugh, a farmer. After his family moved to Burdett, Kansas in 1922, 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 by himself. He sent drawings of Jupiter and Mars to the Lowell Observatory, which offered him a job. Tombaugh worked there 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...
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