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New Horizons

Yay for Pluto!

Artist's conception of what Pluto might look like.  Soon, we'll have a better idea.

In the winter of 1930, Clyde Tombaugh, of Burdett, Kansas, discovered Pluto.  He became famous and Pluto became a rock star, so to speak.  Heck, Mickey Mouse's dog was named Pluto!  Scientists names a new radioactive material Plutonium after Pluto.  And, for nearly 80 years, Pluto was considered to be the 9th planet in our solar system.  Later, a group of international know-it-alls demoted the icy orb to "dwarf planet" status.  Regardless, Pluto is still there.  And this month (July 14), NASA's New Horizon's spacecraft will fly closer to Pluto than any other NASA spacecraft.  Tune in to #M

Lost in Space - January 30, 2015

Front page article on the discovery of Pluto from the New York Times, March 14, 1930. (Image Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /

Q: It was in 1926 that Clyde Tombaugh decided to build his own telescope. He had been using a store-bought telescope on the family farm in Burdett, Kan., but became dissatisfied with it. So, he built his own. Just four years later, while using a more advanced star gazer, he discovered the planet Pluto. Tombaugh's discovery earned him worldwide recognition and a college scholarship! Can you name the school?

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