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Hometown of Pluto Discovery Dedicates Year to Icy Planet

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Pluto has taken on new prominence this year in the northern Arizona city where it was discovered.  Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff has dedicated 2015 to celebrating one of its most popular attractions and the amateur astronomer who spotted it 85 years ago.  The celebration comes as NASA's New Horizons spacecraft completes a nine-year journey to the icy orb in July, beaming new images back to Earth.  Clyde Tombaugh, who grew up in Kansas, discovered Pluto in 1930. The attention that followed meant Flagstaff would be known for more than the railroad and timber.  A Flagstaff sushi restaurant introduced a Pluto roll this year. A walking tour in May will go to the restaurant, a former post office and a downtown theater that Tombaugh visited the day of Pluto's discovery in 1930.  In the 1920s, Tombaugh lived on a central Kansas farm and used homemade telescopes to look up at the stars.  At the age of 24, while working at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, he discovered Pluto, which at the time was considered our solar system's ninth planet.  Pluto has since been demoted to "dwarf planet" status by an international group of astronomers and planetary scientists.  
 

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