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Gerard Kuiper - Windows to the Universe

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Portrait of Gerard Kuiper
University of Arizona, Deparment of Planetary Sciences

Gerard Kuiper

Gerard Kuiper was an American astronomer who lived between 1905-1973. He is considered the father of modern planetary science for his brilliant study of our solar system.

Kuiper developed a new technique for looking at the sky from high altitude, and discovered Nereid, a moon of Neptune, and Miranda, a moon of Uranus. He also studied the surface of the Earth's moon in preparation for the Apollo missions and found that Titan had an atmosphere similar to our own.

Kuiper suggested that there was a belt of comet-like debris at the edge of our solar system, a theory that was proven true 20 years after his death.


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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF