Tuesday, April 12, 2011
For me, that would be Clyde Tombaugh.
Back in 1961 I remember my dad coming home from work, announcing that Echo 1 was to fly over that night. We gathered in the back yard up on Elm Street and watched. A slow moving speck of light, barely visible. I loved it and was hooked. I had a sudden interest in astronomy.
Then my parents bought a book for me. THE SEARCH FOR PLANET X by Tony Simon (Scholastic 1965). It was the story of Clyde Tombaugh and his discovery of Pluto. I was hooked. I set out to become an astronomer, and I wanted to work at the same place that Clyde Tombaugh worked. Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Time and distance and fortune changed things. Instead of an astronomer, I became an archaeologist. But I never lost that love for astronomy. I’m still fascinated by it. And although I never got to work at the Lowell Observatory, I was able to pay a couple of visits to that hallowed ground.
Clyde Tombaugh, a hero of mine, and thanks to Clyde for a lifelong love of astronomy.