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Clyde Tombaugh: Discoverer of Planet Pluto (Sky & Telescope Observer's Guides) [Paperback]

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Item description for Clyde Tombaugh: Discoverer of Planet Pluto (Sky & Telescope Observer's Guides) by David H. Levy...

Clyde Tombaugh: Discoverer of Planet Pluto (Sky & Telescope Observer's Guides) by David H. Levy

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Item Specifications...

Pages   211
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   Sky Publishing
ISBN  1931559333  
ISBN13  9781931559331  

Availability  0 units.

More About David H. Levy

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David H. Levy is President of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, and is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered twenty-two comets (eight of them using his own backyard telescopes) and was co-discoverer of Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994 producing the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the Solar System. Asteroid 3673 (Levy) was named in his honor. He has written several books, is a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Astronomy, and was the former Science Editor for Parade magazine. In 1998 he won an Emmy as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel documentary 'Three Minutes to Impact'.

David H. Levy was born in 1948 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Jarnac Observatory, Arizona University of Arizona University of Arizon.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Scientists
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Astronomy > Astronomy
4Books > Subjects > Science > Astronomy > Astronomy
5Books > Subjects > Science > Astronomy > Solar System

Reviews - What do customers think about Clyde Tombaugh: Discoverer of Planet Pluto (Sky & Telescope Observer's Guides)?

"They've got his book!"  Dec 17, 2006
When this book was first published by the University of Arizona Press back in 1991, I happened to be in a small bookstore when in walked Eugene Shoemaker. This was before the names of Shoemaker and Levy had been publicly linked in the name of a famous comet. Shoemaker spotted this book on the shelf and exclaimed happily: "Look! They've got David Levy's book on Clyde Tombaugh!" I vaguely recall that he even picked up the book and eagerly showed it to a friend. No doubt Shoemaker would be pleased that Sky and Telescope Books has now 'got' this book back into print.

While David Levy may be better known as an astronomer than as a biographer, he has a couple of stronger-than-usual qualifications to write Tombaugh's biography: he knew Tombaugh over many years and got Tombaugh's cooperation for this book, and he appreciates better than anyone what an extraordinary task it was for Tombaugh to search through a large portion of the sky, both before and after the Pluto discovery.

Clyde Tombaugh took a unique arc through the world of astronomy. Lowell Observatory hired him precisely because he was a Kansas farm boy without academic qualifications and would be thrilled to work for peanuts on a task that most astronomers considered futile. Tombaugh was indeed thrilled by the chance to observe the sky full-time. He was motivated by a basic deep love of astronomy that never left him amidst all the twists and frustrations of his further career. There are few biographies of astromoners in which the sheer joy of astronomy speaks so clearly. Levy also does justice to the scientific challenges involved in searching for Pluto. But Tombaugh's systematic sky survey had larger, cosmological implications: he was seeing the clumpy distribution of galaxies and challenged Edwin Hubble's opinion that the galaxies were distributed more uniformly. Tombaugh also had an adventure in pioneer rocketry, spending several years at White Sands in the 1950s, helping Von Braun's team develop some basic techniques that would become familiar to the public watching the Mercury-Gemini-Apollo programs.

I put Levy's biography to a unique, tough test. I read it after visiting the small town in Kansas from which Tombaugh came. I spoke with Tombaugh's nephew and with locals who had known the Tombaugh family. I went through the local newspaper file and and visited the school Tombaugh attended (and I even showed the latest issue of Sky and Telescope, with its cover story on Pluto, to Mrs. Miller's third grade class). I visited the now-abandoned Tombaugh farmstead and found the weed-hidden cement telescope mount Tombaugh had built for the telescope he used to make the drawings for which Lowell Observatory hired him. After such a personal exposure, there's a danger that a biography will fall short, ringing false in emphasis or slipping up on various details. But it's clear that Levy got to know Tombaugh pretty well. More importantly, he turns Tombaugh into an Everyman Hero for anyone who finds astronomy to be an adventure.


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