New stamp set honors Pluto and KU alum who discovered it

One of the greatest discoveries by a KU alum just got a stamp of approval.

In 1930, a 24-year old amateur astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh was working at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona to pay for his upcoming freshman year at KU when he discovered Pluto. Tombaugh’s stellar discovery earned him a scholarship to the University of Kansas, where he completed his bachelor’s degree (1936) and master’s degree (1938) in astronomy.

Clyde Tombaugh gained fame and a KU scholarship by identifying Pluto in 1930. (Image: NASA)
Clyde Tombaugh gained fame and a KU scholarship by identifying Pluto in 1930. (Image: NASA)

Tombaugh and Pluto were back in the news last year when the New Horizons probe finished its nine-year journey to Pluto and sent back some of the highest-quality images of the former planet to date. These pictures include a closer look at the Tombaugh Regio, a heart-shaped surface feature named after the Jayhawk himself.

The dwarf planet is now being honored with “Pluto-Explored!” a set of U.S. Postal Service stamps featuring the New Horizons Probe and a picture of Tombaugh Regio. The stamps can be purchased on the U.S. Postal Service’s website, and more on the story is available from the Las Cruces Sun.