TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Widow of Tombaugh 'Shook Up' by Decision

Re: Widow of Tombaugh 'Shook Up' by Decision

mc (
Sat, 26 Aug 2006 18:17:02 -0400

<Tim Korte>; "AP" <> wrote in message

> By TIM KORTE, Associated Press Writer

> The widow of the astronomer who discovered Pluto 76 years ago said
> Thursday she was frustrated by the decision to strip it of its
> planetary status, but she added that Clyde Tombaugh would have
> understood.

Yes ... It should have been evident, almost as soon as Pluto was
discovered, that it was not the Planet X predicted by Percival Lowell
(who left funds to continue the search, leading to Tombaugh's
discovery). Pluto is much smaller than a planet in the
Jupiter-Saturn-Uranus-Neptune sequence should have been.

I wonder if other Kuiper Belt objects could have been discovered from
the Lowell Observatory photographic plates if the search had
continued. Presumably so.

With the change in nomenclature, Tombaugh becomes the discoverer of
the first Kuiper Belt object, which is arguably more important than
being discoverer of just one more planet.

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