The astronomers of Lowell Observatory were on a mission in 1930, driven by founder Percival Lowell to find a hypothesized ninth planet (dubbed “Planet X”) that would explain strange orbital movements in the outer solar system.

That year, a farmboy from Kansas named Clyde Tombaugh used the observatory’s 13-inch photographic telescope to discover a wandering “star” that ended up being a distant solar system object. For the first time since Neptune’s discovery in 1846, we were welcoming a new planet.

The New York Times reported that it was possibly bigger than Jupiter and some 4 billion miles away.

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