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Gerard Kuiper

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(Redirected from Gerard P. Kuiper)
Gerard Kuiper, circa 1963.
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Gerard Kuiper, circa 1963.

Gerard Peter Kuiper, born Gerrit Pieter Kuiper (December 7, 1905December 23, 1973) was a Dutch-American astronomer. Born and educated in the Netherlands, he came to the United States in 1933.

Kuiper discovered two moons of planets in the solar system, namely Uranus's moon Miranda and Neptune's moon Nereid. He also suggested the existence of a belt outside Neptune's orbit, now named the Kuiper belt, whose existence is now confirmed (see Trans-Neptunian objects). Kuiper also pioneered airborne infrared observing using a Convair 990 aircraft in the 1960s.

In 1959, Kuiper won the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society.

In the 1960s, Kuiper helped identify landing sites on the moon for the Apollo program.

Asteroid 1776 Kuiper and craters on the Moon, on Mars and on Mercury are named after him.

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