Vladimir Pecha‘s Today’s Memory
Gerard Kuiper’s birthday
Originally shared by Vladimir Pecha
1905 Gerard Peter Kuiper was born (7 Dec 1905; 23 Dec 1973).
Dutch-born American astronomer, who discovered Miranda, a moon of Uranus, and Nereid, a moon of Neptune. The Kuiper Belt is so-named after his original suggestion of its existence outside the orbit of Neptune before it was confirmed as a belt of small bodies. He measured the diameter of Pluto. In the Martian atmosphere Kuiper detected carbon dioxide, but the absence of oxygen (1947). In the 1960s, Kuiper pioneered airborne infrared observing using a Convair 990 aircraft and served as chief scientist for the Ranger spacecraft crash-landing probes of the moon. By analyzing Ranger photographs, he identified landing sites on the lunar surface most suitable for safe manned landings.