Saturday, June 21, 2008


George Carruthers 1940-
-A NASA scientist who invented the lunar surface ultraviolet cameras and spectrograph, which became the moon's first observatory. This device takes photographic images of the Earth's upper atmosphere.

George Carruthers has gained international recognition for his work which focuses on ultraviolet observations of the earth's upper atmosphere and of astronomical phenomena. Ultraviolet light is the electromagnetic radiation between visible light and x-rays. George Carruthers first major contribution to science was to lead the team that invented the far ultraviolet camera spectrograph. He developed the first moon-based space observatory, an ultraviolet camera that was carried to the moon by Apollo 16 astronauts in 1972. The camera was positioned on the moon's surface and allowed researchers to examine the Earth's atmosphere for concentrations of pollutants.
Dr. George Carruthers received a patent for his invention the "Image Converter for Detecting Electromagnetic Radiation specially in Short Wave Lengths" on November 11, 1969.
He has been the principal investigator for numerous NASA and DoD sponsored space instruments including a 1986 rocket instrument that obtained ultraviolet image of Comet Halley. His most recent on the Air Force ARGOS mission captured an image of a Leonid shower meteor entering the earth's atmosphere, the first time a meteor has been imaged in the far ultraviolet from a space-borne camera.
George Carruthers was born in Cincinnati Ohio on October 1, 1939 and grew up in South Side, Chicago. At the age of ten, he built a telescope, however, he did not do well in school studying math and physics but still went on to win three science fair awards. Dr. Carruthers graduated from Englewood High School in Chicago. He attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he received a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1961. Dr. Carruthers also obtained his graduate education at the University of Illinois, completing a master's degree in nuclear engineering in 1962 and a doctorate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1964.
In 1993, Dr. Carruthers was one of the first 100 recipients of the Black Engineer of the Year award honored by US Black Engineer He has also worked with NRL's Community Outreach Program and several outside education and community outreach organizations in support of educational activities in science at Ballou High School and other DC area schools.
George Carruthers Inventor of the far-ultraviolet camera and spectrograph - Invention Dimension.
George Carruthers Carruthers is best known for having found the proof of molecular hydrogen in interstellar space. Spectrographs are images which use a prism (or a diffraction grating) to show the spectrum of light produced by an element or elements.
George R. Carruthers : Astrophysicist An inventor as well as physicist, George Carruthers was instrumental in the design of lunar surface ultraviolet cameras.
Hyperspectral Imaging of the Global Ionosphere from the ARGOS Satellite Paper co-written by George Carruthers.
TDPNewsletter Profile on inventors' image converter for detecting eletromagnetic radiation especially in short wave length.
Related Information Black Inventors
©Mary Bellis

George R. Carruthers was born on October 1st, 1939. He is an African-American Astrophysicist. From Cincinnati, Ohio Carruthers received his B.S. Physics from University of Illinois in 1961, M.S. Physics in 1962, and his Ph.D. in aeronautical and astronomical engineering in 1964 with a dissertation entitled: Experimental Investigations of Atomic Nitrogen Recombination. He was a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union, AIAA, AAAS, National Technical Association, and has been Chairman of the Editing and Review Committee and Editor, Journal of the National Technical Association, 1983 to present. Dr. Carruthers held the position of Rocket Astronomy Research Physicist from 1964 to 1982. He was Head of the Ultraviolet Measurements Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory. An inventor as well as physicist, George Carruthers was instrumental in the design of lunar surface ultraviolet cameras. Dr. Carruthers research focused on research in experimental investigations of atomic nitrogen recombination. He has received many awards including: Arthur S. Fleming Award (Washington Jaycees), 1971, Exceptional Achievement Scientific Award Medal NASA 1972, the Warner Prize of the American Astronomical Society, the National Science Foundation Fellow, and the Honorary Doctor of Engineering, Michigan Technological University.

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