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Pluto Theme #2: Scientists and Engineers

Scientists and engineers icon Scientists and Engineers: those who have contributed to our understanding of Pluto and the solar system. Revisit our discussion forum.

Proposed Name Description Citation Notes
P2.1 Tombaugh For Clyde Tombaugh, 1906-1997, US astronomer who discovered Pluto. [68] - World Who's Who in Science, edited by Allen G. Debus; Western Publishing Company, Hannibal, Mo., 1968; New York, 1973. Not to be used for a crater, eliminating any possibility of confusion with a crater on Mars named after Tombaugh. Far too important to the history of Pluto not to have a major feature named after him.
P2.2 Lowell For Percival Lowell, 1855-1916, US astronomer and the founder of Lowell Observatory in Arizona; he initiated the search that resulted in the discovery of Pluto. [68] - World Who's Who in Science, edited by Allen G. Debus; Western Publishing Company, Hannibal, Mo., 1968; New York, 1973. Not to be used for a crater, eliminating any possibility of confusion with the names of craters on Moon and Mars. Far too important to the history of Pluto not to have a major feature named after him.
P2.3 Burney For Venetia Burney, 1918-2009, British, named Pluto as a young girl. nytimes.com Not a scientist, but she played a notable role in the history of Pluto. Her name was a very popular write-in in the OurPluto campaign.
P2.4 Elliot For James Elliot, 1943-2011, US planetary scientist who discovered and then studied Pluto's atmosphere via occultation techniques. nytimes.com  
P2.5 K. Edgeworth For Kenneth Edgeworth, 1880-1972, Irish  astronomer, early speculator about what became known as the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt. britannica.com Initial K. is used to distinguish this name from that of Maria Edgeworth, after whom a crater on Venus is named.
P2.6 Pulfrich For Carl Pulfrich, 1858-1927, German astronomer, invented the blink comparator, the instrument Clyde Tombaugh used to discover Pluto. Instruments of Science: An Historical Encyclopedia (Garland Encyclopedias in the History of Science) by Robert Bud and Deborah Warner ISBN-13: 978-0815315612. See books.google.com/books?id=1AsFdUxOwu8C  
P2.7 Safronov For Viktor Safronov, 1917-1999, Russian planetary theorist who made pivotal contributions to understanding the formation of planets and the Oort cloud. britannica.com  
P2.8 Harrington For Robert Harrington, 1942-1993, US astronomer and the co-discoverer of Pluto's largest satellite, Charon. britannica.com  
P2.9 Oort For Jan Oort, 1900-1992, Dutch astronomer after whom the Oort cloud is named. britannica.com  
P2.10 Coradini For Angioletta Coradini, 1946-2011, major figure in Italian planetary science. [338] - Division for Planetary Sciences obituary: dps.aas.org A crater on Vesta is named “Angioletta” in her honor. The name “Coradini” is unused and has no apparent conflict in the nomenclature database.
P2.11 Brinton For Henry Brinton, 1935-2005, US scientist and NASA administrator pivotal to funding many early Pluto mission studies. udel.edu/PR/UDaily  
P2.12 H. Smith For Harlan Smith, 1924-1991, US planetary scientist and director of McDonald Observatory where numerous groundbased astronomical studies of Pluto were undertaken. mcdonaldobservatory .org Initial H. provided because of other planetary surface features named after people with surname Smith.
P2.13 Kowal For Charles Kowal, 1940-2011, US planetary scientist who discovered the first Centaur, 2060 Chiron, a harbinger of the Kuiper Belt. buffalonews.com  
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