Clyde Tombaugh was a former New Mexico State University faculty member. The NMSU Library and Department of Astronomy will celebrate the 90th anniversary of Tombaugh's discovery of Pluto Wednesday, Feb. 26. | Photo courtesy NMSU

NMSU to host panel to honor Tombaugh’s legacy February 26

The New Mexico State University Library and Department of Astronomy are partnering together to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery of the planet Pluto.

A discussion panel will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 26 on the third floor of Zuhl Library, 2911 McFie Circle. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel’s distinguished speakers will include Alden Tombaugh, son of Clyde W. Tombaugh; Kevin Schindler, Lowell Observatory historian; NMSU’s Kurt Anderson, astronomy professor emeritus; Lyle Huber, astronomy planetary data analyst and archivist; Dennis Daily, library department head of archives and special collections; and Tiffany Schirmer, library digital collections specialist.

Tombaugh was a young technician newly hired by the Lowell Observatory when he made the renowned discovery of Pluto. This accomplishment made history and brought him worldwide recognition. The aspiring astronomer would eventually play a crucial role in establishing an astronomy graduate program at NMSU.

An exhibition of Tombaugh’s documents, photographs and optical instruments will be on display. Refreshments and stargazing will follow the panel discussion.

For more information, contact Monika Glowacka-Musial at 575-646-4707 or

Author: Faith Schifani – NMSU