3. George R. Carruthers (1939–present)

Notable inventions: Image converter, ultraviolet camera, and spectrograph

South Side, Chicago native and ultraviolet astronomy pioneer George Carruthers began showing signs of greatness at the age of 10, when he crafted his own telescope for a school science fair. Fast forward to 1972, his spectrograph invention would be used in the Apollo 16 mission to record radiation from the upper half of the ultraviolet spectrum on the Moon. The camera would also produce over 200 photos of the Earth’s outer atmosphere and other deep-space objects like nebulas and comets. Astronomical.