Noted astronomer’s centennial celebrated

Kansas University alumnus and astronomy pioneer Clyde Tombaugh will be honored at 8 p.m. Saturday in Kansas Union’s Alderson Auditorium.

The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of Tombaugh’s birth.

Tombaugh discovered the planet Pluto on Feb. 18, 1930. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in astronomy from KU. He went on to a distinguished career in astronomy.

Tombaugh died in 1997. The Clyde Tombaugh Observatory at KU is named in his honor.

The featured speaker will be Alan Stern, a scientist instrumental in launching an exploratory mission to Pluto. Stern worked with New Horizon, NASA’s mission to Pluto that launched Jan. 19.

Following Stern’s presentation, there will be time for star viewing on the hill near Memorial Stadium if weather permits. There will be telescopes for viewing stars and possibly Mars and Jupiter.

The free public celebration is sponsored by Astronomy Associates of Lawrence.