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What you need to know about the man who discovered Pluto
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NASA's New Horizon spacecraft just passed by Pluto. Here's a look at Clyde William Tombaugh, the man who discovered the planet. - photo by Herb Scribner
We now know what Pluto really looks like.

Time magazine reported that the NASA spacecraft New Horizons flew by the dwarf planet Pluto after a nine and a half year journey 3 billion miles of stars away. The planet, which was commonly believed to be dark and blue, is actually a bright peach red, NASA photos show.

It should be a day of incredible pride, Charlie Bolden, NASAs chief administrator, said on NASA TV, according to Time.

This is a day more than 75 years in the making. Professor Clyde William Tombaugh first discovered the dwarf planet on Feb. 18, 1930, when he was 24 years old, according to Maclean's. Tombaugh, who was a professor at New Mexico State at the time, noticed a speck in the sky that he believed to be a planet beyond Neptune which would later be known as Pluto.

Before his discovery, Tombaugh came from humble beginnings, according to NASA. He was born in Illinois and was raised by a farm family, who constantly encouraged him to look to the stars. In fact, the first telescope he ever looked through was created by his uncle.

As an adult, he only worked 9 to 5 before going home to spend time with his wife and two children. He would also spend lunch breaks with his fellow professors, Maclean's reported.

He was part of the Lunch Bunch, Reta Beebe, who worked with Tombaugh for 30 years at New Mexico State, told Macleans.

Tombaugh became a national sensation upon his discovery. Children and adults alike sent Tombaugh fan letters in celebration of his accomplishment of finding the new planet, Macleans reported.

Tombaughs discovery made waves across the pond, too. BBC reported that Venetia Phair noticed the planets discovery back in 1930 in a newspaper article. Fair, who was heavily interested in Greek mythology at the time, suggested the name Pluto which comes from the Greek god Pluto, who was the leader of the underworld to one of her professors. Astronomers were so impressed by the name that they approved the name, BBC reported.

Tombaugh and Phair never met, but the two lived in celebrity for their respective parts in discovering and naming the planet.

Tombaugh's celebrity reached religious circles as well. He helped found the Unitarian Universalist Churches of Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he would speak in front of Buddhists, atheists, Christians and other believers, according to Maclean's.

The spirit of Tombaugh, who died in early 1997, is still alive today and its currently near Pluto. The former professors ashes were put into a container thats fixed into the deck of New Horizon, which reads, Interred herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system's 'third zone, The Telegraph reported.

Tombaugh was 90 years old, Maclean's wrote, and he is now 0.0005 light years away.
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