How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming MOBI ✓

The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge Then in 2005 astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime a tenth planet Eris slightly bigger than Pluto But instead of its resulting in one planet being added to our solar system Brown’s find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye The debate culminated in the demotion of Pluto from real planet to the newly coined category of “dwarf” planet Suddenly Brown was receiving hate mail from schoolchildren and being bombarded by TV reporters—all because of the discovery he had spent years searching for and a lifetime dreaming aboutFilled with both humor and drama How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is Mike Brown’s engaging first person account of the most tumultuous year in modern astronomy—which he inadvertently caused As it guides readers through important scientific concepts and inspires us to think deeply about our place in the cosmos it is also an entertaining and enlightening personal story While Brown sought to expand our understanding of the vast nature of space his own life was changed in the most immediate human ways by love birth and death A heartfelt and personal perspective on the demotion of everyone’s favorite farflung planet How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone young or old who has ever dreamed of exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t?


10 thoughts on “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

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    Poor Pluto singled out and ridiculed for his diminutive size kicked out of the Planet Union and left weepy and alone to wander the cold outer fringes of the solar system with all the other heavenly misfits and riffraff And who you ask was responsible for this astronomical atrocity Yep that’s rightBill Gatesit figures Okay it’s really Michael Brown but you have to admit that the resemblance is spooky This book is eminently readable and is about as moist and non stuffy a “science” book as I’ve encountered in a while It does a nice job of balancing between scientific detail and story telling though I did hope for a bit wow in the discussions of the Astronomy vis a vis exploring the solar system Still there’s enough information here to give the reader a decent introduction to techniques and technologies involved I enjoyed it PLOT SUMMARYIn a nutshell Cal Tech Astronomy professor Mike Brown lays out the history of his involvement with analyzing a region of the outer solar system known as the Kuiper Belt a vast region of asteroids and similar bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune This research eventually led to the discovery of three Trans Neptunian Objects TNOs later to be categorized as dwarf planets These consisted of Haumea Makemake and Eris the latter of which turned out to be larger than Plutoraising all kinds of ruckus about whether Pluto should be booted from the Planet Union Brown also goes into considerable detail concerning the birth of his first daughter which occurred during the height of Brown’s science quest This was my favorite part of the book and I found myself smiling a lot at Brown’s introduction of scientific rigor into the messy realm of babyhood The man collected data and made graphs on just about every aspect of the birthnewborn process and I got a kick out of his good natured obsession After a series of debates campaigns and some nerdlinger shenanigans involving allegations of data theft against an observatory in Spain a decision was reached After taking a long long time to study the data review competing proposals and who knows what else the International Astronomical Union made the momentous decision to demote Pluto and reduce the number of planets to 8 FINAL THOUGHTSI always liked Pluto he seemed like a cool planet He had all those quirks and oddities with his orbit and location that added a real sense of style I’m sorry to see him go I think he got a raw deal and his seniority should have counted for something Therefore I think it only appropriate to give our former ninth planet the final word 30 stars Recommended