New Mexico Space History Museum takes ownership of Clyde Tombaugh Center

The New Mexico Museum of Space History announced last week that the transfer of the Clyde W. Tombaugh Science Education Center was completed in January.

The Tombaugh Center was previously owned and operated by New Mexico-Alamogordo State University.

The transfer of the Tombaugh Center was approved by the New Mexico Department of Higher Education, the New Mexico State University Board of Regents, and the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

The museum is an entity under the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

“The Tombaugh Center, formerly known as the Tombaugh Building and IMAX Theater, began as a partnership in the early 1980s when ownership was owned by NMMSH and the building was owned by the university,” a statement said. museum press release.

The Tombaugh Center was used by NMSU to hold classes and contain offices. As partners, the museum operated the theater and the planetarium.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the change is in the museum’s education department, which now has a full lab room for in-house education programs and summer camps,” the statement said. hurry.

Who is Clyde Tombaugh?

The Center is named after Clyde Tombaugh credited with the discovery of Pluto in 1930. Said at the time to be the ninth planet in our solar system, Pluto was reclassified as a minor planet in 2006.

Tombaugh began his search for “Planet-X” in 1929 and on February 18 found the cosmic body that would eventually be named Pluto. This discovery earned him the Jackson-Gwilt Medal and Gift from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Tombaugh worked as a junior scientist at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he discovered hundreds of cosmic bodies. He then worked briefly at the University of California and transferred to what is now the White Sands Missile Range.

At White Sands, he used telescopes to photograph rockets and missiles being tested. He worked at White Sands for nine years, leaving in 1955.

Tombaugh was also the head of Near Earth Satellite Search, a project transferred from White Sands Proving Ground to New Mexico State University where he taught for four years until his retirement in 1973.

While living in New Mexico, he conducted research on the geology of Mars near Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

The university dedicated the observatory in his name in 1972.

Tombaugh died in 1991.

Jessica Onsurez can be reached at [email protected], @JussGREAT on Twitter at by phone at 575-628-5531.

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