Happy Birthday, Pluto!

pluto numbers

On February 18th, Pluto turns 89 years old- well, the discovery of Pluto anyway! This controversial planet/not planet/dwarf planet was discovered in our very own backyard, in Flagstaff, Arizona at the Lowell Observatory. A young, 23-year-old Clyde Tombaugh discovered the small planet 14 years after Percival Lowell passed away- Lowell working desperately to discover ‘Planet X’. The method in which Tombaugh spotted the planet is fascinating and can be read about here.

 

pluto

Tombaugh was originally from Streator, Illinois, but graduated with his bachelor and master’s degrees in astronomy from the University of Kansas- but not until 8 years AFTER his discovery! Tombaugh is credited for discovering numerous asteroids as well. Four years before the discovery, he was building homemade telescopes in his parents’ farm field. He began working at the Lowell Observatory after he sent them drawings of Jupiter and Mars. After graduating from Kansas, he returned to Arizona where he taught naval navigation at Northern Arizona University during World War II. He retired from New Mexico State University in 1973 where he taught astronomy.

 

pluto harvardThe discovery was exciting news, especially during the Great Depression. News made its way around the world, with telegrams being sent from observatory to observatory, news outlet to news outlet.

 

pluto letter

 

The name Pluto was chosen after a competition was created seeking suggestions. The winner would win about $480 USD (in today’s dollars). Lowell Observatory received over 1,000 suggestions, but 11-year-old Venetia Burney from Oxford, England would win with her suggestion of Pluto.

 

 

 

pluto vebtia

 

The discovery was a proud moment for Arizona and arguably helped solidify Arizona and its Universities as players in the space race, astronomy, and geosciences.

Want more?

If you are interested in diving a little deeper into Pluto’s discovery, the Lowell Observatory, or astronomy in general, check out the two collections on the Arizona Memory Project created by the Lowell Observatory (a third is in the works!).

 

pluto researchWe also have a Research Topic page with additional links: Discovering Pluto at Lowell Observatory, which is in the process of being updated.

 

pluto gale

Our Gale Science in Context database also has several resources on Pluto and other planets.

 

pluto observatory

 

On Reading Arizona, our free online e-book library, you can find the book “Observatories of the Southwest“, which includes information about major observatories of the region, including Arizona’s Kitt Peak National Observatory and Lowell Observatory.

 

 

 

pluto booksAnd our Arizona Collection and State Publications have SEVERAL University of Arizona Press books about Pluto, which can be viewed in our Reading Room or requested via interlibrary loan from your local public library.

And we even have a book by Tombaugh himself: Out of the Darkness, the Planet Pluto.

 

Happy birthday, Pluto!

And happy researching!

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Veterans in AZ: Telling Their Story With Census Data

The U.S. Census Bureau collects demographic, social, and economic data on veterans.  Such data includes unemployment rate, household income, business ownership, period of service, educational attainment, health care and age distribution. The data is used for policy analysis, program planning, and budgeting of veteran programs.

As we celebrate those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces this Veterans Day, come learn about this important part of Arizona’s citizenry. This is a hands-on training; participants will be on-line with the Instructor following along with their own computer/laptop to learn how to navigate the census website and access Veteran’s data.

Presented by Pauline Nunez, U.S. Census Bureau

Date: Tuesday November 1, 2016

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Location: Webinar

To Register for this webinar: https://census.webex.com/census/k2/j.php?MTID=t7d8b03c3faebaccae1992708856adf86

 

Join Us for an Upcoming Event!

September 14, 2016 – Using Census Data/Tools for Business Planning and Market Analysis: Introducing Census Business Builder

Using Census Data September 14

This hands-on training will provide an introduction to Census Bureau Economic Programs and related Business Concepts, the American Community Survey demographics and the latest Business tool: Census Business Builder.   A new Web application,Census Business Builder: Regional Analyst Edition now available in beta, allows users to build a region from one or more counties and create a report for the entire region and the individual business sectors within the region.  This second edition of Census Business Builder follows the successful launch of Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, which provides statistics for a single type of business and area on the same demographic and economic characteristics as the new edition.

Who should attend? Small business owners, consultants, Small Business Development Training Centers, financial institutions, micro lending organizations, and any organization that targets small businesses and economic development.

Seating is limited.  Registration is required. Training will be hands on, please bring your laptop.  Wi-Fi access available.  Free parking on site.

About presenter Pauline Nuñez:

Pauline Núñez develops and conducts training programs on U.S. Census Data for state/local government, tribal nations, Congressional Districts, nonprofit, health care, and economic development organizations throughout South Central Texas, the Texas-Mexico borderlands and Arizona. She has over 25 years’ experience in community development micro lending, grant writing, marketing and business development for small businesses and non-profit management.

To register for the 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. session, click here.

To register for the 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. session, click here.

Transportation Research Webinar

The Transportation Research Board will be hosting an upcoming webinar on how to use the Research in Progress Database.

The webinar will be August 16, 2016 from 2:00pm to 3:00PM ET and provides users of TRB’s Research in Progress (RiP) Database with the latest information about RiP’s search and data entry interfaces. The RiP Database is a leading tool for transportation professionals to stay updated on current or recently-completed transportation research projects. This webinar is an update from a webinar held on August 6, 2015.

Participants must register in advance of the webinar, and there is no fee for attending the webinar.

You can go to the following website to submit your registration: http://www.trb.org/Calendar/Blurbs/174599.aspx.
Webinar Presenter

  • Janet Daly, Transportation Research Board

Moderated by: Elaine Ferrell, Transportation Research Board

Webinar Outline

  1. General guidance on using the RiP Database
  • Search the RiP Database by various fields
  • Browse project records by subject category
  • Use a look-up for searching by index terms, individuals, organizations or location
  • Subscribe to receive e-mail notification of new RiP records in specific subject areas
  • Export records
  • Guidance for individuals from state departments of transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, and University Transportation Centers
  • Enter a new project record into the RiP Database using the data entry interface or bulk import tool
  • Locate records from their organization
  • Update or delete an existing record for their organization in the RiP Database

The first 30 minutes of the webinar is for presentations and the final 30 minutes is reserved for audience questions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Locate records in the RiP Database
  • Submit a new project record using the data entry interface

Modify or delete an existing project record from their organization

This is an outside event; please follow links above for more information.