But, in fact, Pluto was only discovered as recently as 1930, although the existence of a ninth planet in the Solar System had been posited long before. Businessman and astronomer Percival Lowell had used some of his substantial wealth to set up the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona in 1894. In 1906, Lowell proposed to discover what he called Planet X. Sadly, Lowell died in 1916 before he could see his investment pay off.
Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh was working at the Flagstaff observatory in February 1930 when he discovered the ninth planet through the painstaking analysis of photographs. But there remained the question of giving it a more appropriate name than the somewhat austere Planet X. In a strange twist to the story, its name was actually suggested by an 11-year-old English schoolgirl, Venetia Burney. And there is no connection with the canine Disney character who by an unearthly coincidence happened to appear in the same year as the discovery of Pluto.