Exploring Our Solar System

Contributions of scientists that explored the solar system

Clyde Tombaugh

(1906-1997)


Clyde Tombaugh discovered a number of objects in the solar system, mainly asteroids. His most famous discovery was of the dwarf planet Pluto which he found in 1930 by comparing images of an area of space. The object was recognised as the ninth planet in the solar system until 2006 it was reclassified as a dwarf planet. Clyde Tombaugh died before the 'demotion' of his planet to a dwarf planet.

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Percival Lowell

(1855-1916)


Nineteenth and early 20th century American astronomer Percival Lowell predicted Pluto's existence ( it was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh ) and founded one of the oldest observatories in the United States.


However, he will probably be best remembered as an ardent supporter of the theory that an alien civilisation irrigated crops on Mars's surface with water drawn from the planet's poles along a canal network.


He used a telescope to make up this theory looking at Mars.

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