[Free eBook] How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming Author Mike Brown – 91videos.co

I think in pictures like I assume most of us do My mental picture for the solar system has not changed in perhaps a quarter of a century, ever since I got my little grubby hands on the insanely popular 1987 Soviet world atlas for children, The World and Humanity In this mental picture there s an enormous Sun circled by nine planets, with tiny Pluto on the outskirts, a tiny dot next to its much larger siblings Here s that picture, with tiny Pluto in the right upper corner A lovely flashback to childhood, thanks to the power of Internet.And then 2006 came, and suddenly little oddball Pluto has been kicked out from the big kids table, demoted to being a dwarf planet , and the media temporarily exploded with variations ofWhen I was your age, Pluto was a planetThen we moved on, and Pluto remained dejected and rejected, stripped of its planetary membership.Mike Brown is a renowned astronomer who played an important part in the downfall of little Pluto This book is his account of how that happened, interspersed with a few family anecdotes and quite a bit of popular explanations of astronomy You see, Brown was actively looking for other planets in our solar system, and after discovering quite a few celestial objects all smaller than Plutoand having one of his discoveries stolen from him by a rival group of scientists in a turn of events not quite dissimilar to what was happening at the time of Watson and Crick s discovery of DNA structure back in the 1950she found what was briefly known as the tenth planet, Planet X, or affectionally and simply as Xena now Pluto s fellow dwarf planet Eris Brown s discovery of Eris was a spark that ignited the larger debate on whether it is a planet, on what exactly a planet even is, and what it all will mean for the fate of both Pluto and Xena In the unexpected turn of events, instead of hoping that Pluto stays and the new tenth planet joins the fray thus making him the only living discoverer of a solar system planet, Brown publicly expressed his belief that neither Pluto nor Xena deserved to have planetary status He won Pluto and Xena lostPluto is not a planet not because it fails to meet the three headed criteria laid out by the IAU Pluto is not a planet because the criteria were written to try to explain the concept that Pluto is not a planetI remember feeling annoyed with Pluto s demotion Why mess up the beautiful picture of the solar system that my brain has been housing since the 1980s It seemed silly and mean, and made me want to root for the underdog.But reading Brown s book, with all the popular science and warm self deprecating humor in it, convinced me to reluctantly leave the Pluto camp Sorry, little dude Poor tiny Pluto has always been an oddball It s not just his diminutive size it s the strange orbit and the location on the outside of the Kuiper belt which, as it turned out, is chock full of little planetoids that bear an eerie similarity to our little guy The facts are there Pluto simply does not fit neither with the four terrestrial planets nor with the four giant planets To the kids table you go, little one BUT ENOUGH ABOUT LITTLE PLUTO S SOB STORY.Despite what my review may lead you to believe so far, Brown s book really isn t the story of Pluto s demotion Instead, it is a story of discovery and scientific curiosity mixed with inordinate amount of tedious work Disproving Pluto s planetarity was never the goal the ultimate prize was finding new things in the solar system that by then was considered to have been thoroughly explored and contains nothing new past it s known frontiers And Brown succeeded without any doubts There s a slew of celestial objects dwarf planets if you wish that he added to our fund of knowledge Sedna, Haumea, Makemake, Quaoar, and the unsuspecting Pluto killer Xena Eris.This is a story about the thrill of being the first to discover something important, something new, something of literally cosmic proportions It s a story of hard work that pays off It s also a story of a loving father who can t help but talk about his kid on what seems like every other page, and that s adorable It s a story of a guy who needs to get it right extending into all parts of his life, as far as contemplating a bell curve of births around due dates and creating graphs of his daughter s feeding times It s a story of a man who was really hoping to be a discoverer of a planet but convinced himself that the right thing to do was to remain the discoverer of trans Neptunian objectsI m still looking for planets, but the bar is now much higher Anything new that wants to be called a planet needs to be a significant presence in our solar system, and I am not certain that there are any hiding in the sky But I keep going Someday, I hope, I ll be sitting in my office looking at pictures of the sky from the night before, and there on the screen will be something farther away than I ve ever seen before, something big, maybe the size of Mars, maybe the size of the earth something significant And I ll know And, as I did years earlier, I ll immediately pick up the phone and call Diane Guess what I ll say I just found the ninth planet And once again the solar system will never be the same4 stars Oh how I wish I had taken that Intro to Astronomy course in college Of course, back then Pluto was still a planet It s been a while since this controversy flared up finally fell off my radar Like so many, I read a bit on it while it was happening, decided everyone was too goofy to have their facts straight, so I tried to ignore it until it all shook out One of my GR friends recently gave this book high marks, so I thought it was time to finally get the full story.Science scientists continue to amaze me They know so much that it s mind boggling, but it s even surprising when I find that there are holes that would swallow a planet Yeah, about that what is a planet I thought I knew, too It is well, hold that thought for a bit We ll circle back around, just like Brown did.This is as much an autobiography as it is about the science of the solar system Brown made his mark by studying the Kuiper Belt, the trans Neptunian region in which Pluto also orbits It was interesting how he did it.When I picture an astronomer it s usually from an old grade B movie.or maybe that guy in the Armageddon movie that was laying in a padded chaise lounge yelling for his wife Nope The telescopes are too big show too many objects for our minds to grasp in the fleeting amounts of time we have so they take pictures The descriptions between old photographic plates methods compared to new ones is fantastic Brown needs to write computer programs to run comparisons spends time playing with math than he does actually looking at the sky How he does it is beyond me, but I still found it fascinating.All that computer time opens up a huge can of worms which Brown documents well it leads into the fine differences between finding an object discovering it That leads into the thorny question of announcing scientific discoveries As he points out, cold fusion is perhaps the poster child for announcing discoveries too soon Discoveries need to be checked that can be time consuming, especially when dealing with objects that are so far away Not only can they be occluded by Sol for months at a time, but the information about them is so tenuous that it often needs months or years of research to figure out exactly what it is how big, composition, orbit, mass, How is all of that figured out by looking at a pinprick of light 100 AU or away An AU is the distance from Sol to Earth, roughly 93 million miles, so 100 AU is 100 times that, 9.3 billion miles, so many zeroes that I almost have to take off my shoes If the object is shiny, they may initially think it is bigger than it really is, so leads to headlines like 10th Planet Discovered then everyone is disappointed when it s just a small sparkly chunk of ice, but the discoverer is the person that publicly announces first not the first one who finds it, so that puts a lot of pressure to announce sooner rather than later It s tenure, job security, unless you screw up the announcement too badly then it is disgrace It s politics.The International Astronomical Union IAU is a rather toothless international conglomeration of astronomers that oversees the lists of known objects, deals with naming conventions, all the rest associated with discoveries Brown says he doesn t belong because he s never filled out the form, yet he s one of the top astronomers in the world.And now we re back to that thorny question What is a planet Brown spends quite a bit of time on the question never answers it, but his thoughts are very interesting The IAU definition is so poor that it would be funny if it wasn t so important General perception of science plays a huge part in funding it The discovery of a new planet excites us while a new Kuiper Belt object isn t worth a second glance.The autobiographical information was a bit much at times, but as a father I could understand it Daughters are born with daddy s heart strings wrapped around their little finger When the daughter is the first only child, the grip is obviously even stronger It s interesting just how strong his is as his daughter s birth comes right in the midst of his discoveries often overshadowed them We all deal with balancing work family His task is a bit tougher than most at times.All in all, I highly recommend this Its orbit might have been a bit longer than necessary there weren t some of the concrete answers I was looking for, but I was never bored found much food for thought as well as a renewed interest in space.Update 12Sep2018 The debate rages on is getting sillier Now they re cherry picking the usage of the word planet rather than focusing on creating a true definition based on facts. Okay, let s start with the disclosures first and get that out of the way I was sent this book, so I didn t buy it, and I didn t pay for it Okay Got it Good Now, moving on.Disclosure number two I m not a science buff or an astronomy buff I can probably point to the Dippers, maybe Orion on a good day And, I know the planets by name My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.Nine uhh what So, Pluto is gone Didn t figure I needed to brace you for the spoiler it IS in the title after all, right I do remember hearing about Pluto s demise, but beyond that first Physical Science pop quiz years ago, I never bothered to wonder why Well, now I know and I feel slightly enlightened than before What I love about How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is that it is approachable for people like me With a mix of personal narration and scientific fact, concepts are broken down in such a way that I FEEL like I m reading fiction but I m actually not, of course.I think this did for me and astronomy what Wittgenstein s Poker David Edmonds and John Eidinow did with philosophy opened a new curiosity that I might not otherwise explore And, for that, I give this one five bright, shining stars.And, we even learn a new acronym Mean Very Evil Men Just Shortened Up Nature.How can you not love that Q Do you know what a Kuiper belt object is A If you d be interested in the love story of a man for his daughter as he watches her progress through the first days of her life, read this If you re interested in how the contemporary science of astronomy works i, read this If you d be interested in a detective story about a team of researchers halfway across the world who nearly stole a major discovery, read this If you d be interested in the politics of killing a planet that was accepted as part of the pantheon for than 70 years, read this If you d be interested in hearing the thoughts of a man who has the best characteristics of a scientist and a willingness to put facts above personal gain and glory, read this And if you, like me, would be interested in all of these things, you simply must read this as soon as or Audible can get it to you Mike Brown s humor, humanity, and keen intellect ring throughout this book, and the audio edition does his written voice justice, hitting all of the jokes and staying true to the emotion throughout the work This book re inspired me to plunge back into tough review paper and made me excited about science again, despite the fact that Brown and I study very different fields While taste cannot be a topic of argument, I would be very surprised if the people that enjoy spending time with me would not enjoy this book. Mike Brown loves the universe He is also obsessive, modest to a fault, smart and has a wickedly dry sense of humor This book grabbed me by my imagination and my heart and mind followed Brown wove his personal story with the astronomical story giving it resonance What I really enjoyed were the machinations of the academic community and the side story of the Spanish astronomer who stole his discovery I know the academic world is as cut throat, backstabbing and gossipy as Hollywood but it s fun to hear juicy details the glacial pace of the astronomical committees, the apparent lack of common sense in developing standards and the rush to publish The book is entertaining and enlightening Who knew what a center of mass is I do now As for Pluto, well What s in a name That which we call a planet by any other name would spin as sweet. There are several misconceptions here First, our solar system does NOT have only eight planets Second, Mike Brown did not kill Pluto, and use of this word is extremely misleading and about Brown s ego, which he for some reason has centered around calling himself the plutokiller Third, Eris was not discovered by Brown alone but by a team of three astronomers one of the other two, Dr David Rabinowitz, disagrees with Brown and signed a petition rejecting the IAU planet definition and demotion of Pluto Additionally, Brown is not even an IAU member, so he really had no say in that vote Brown is disingenuous in repeatedly saying that the majority of astronomers agree with the IAU decision when this is not the case The question of what is a planet remains very much a matter of ongoing debate Pluto is not dead Mike Brown tried but failed to kill it The IAU demotion was done by only four percent of its members, most of whom are not planetary scientists It was opposed by hundreds of planetary scientists in a formal petition led by Dr Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA s New Horizons mission to Pluto Even Dr Neil de Grasse Tyson admits the debate is ongoing I encourage people to learn both sides of the issue Some good pro Pluto as a planet books are Is Pluto A Planet by Dr David Weintraub and The Case for Pluto by Alan Boyle Many of us who want to read a book about astronomy are not interested in reading about how much Brown loves his wife and daughter The personal stuff reads way too much like Hollywood gossip There are many books about Pluto out there, and none of them devote a third of their space to personal concerns Some feel this makes Brown s story human, but the reality is, it also detracts from the focus on the science In contrast, Dr Neil de Grasse Tyson in The Pluto Files is able to stick to the science while being humorous and not delving into a personal memoir Anyone can now discover a Kuiper Belt planet through the citizen science program Ice Hunters, which can be found at Finally, I encourage you and everyone interested in this topic to learn the other side of the issue by reading a terrific book, The Case for Pluto by Alan Boyle I am also working on a book of my own, The Little Planet That Would Not Die Pluto s Story. 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 , 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 If you are a science lover, you will definitely enjoy this book This book, as the title suggests, discusses about a very specific topic about discovering new planets and hence should not be considered as an introductory book on the topic of Astronomy This book also provides a great insight into Astronomers daily life and their scientific practices For an Astronomer, Mike Brown is quite funny and interesting The book covers good amount of detail about Author s personal life alongside his quest for discovering a new planet beyond Pluto The personal life details are thrown in bits and pieces from time to time, which was great because it doesn t disturb the flow of the book plus I felt they were an important part of the book.With this book I also came to realize that snooping in the field of Astronomy and Science is real The last few chapters were really interesting when International Astronomical Union IAU were finalizing the exclusion of Pluto and to re categorize it as one of the Dwarf Planets Although, I did feel sad for a moment thinking about how IAU s new definition of planet will no longer make it possible for any Human to find a new planet in our Solar System, I am also convinced that Pluto can no longer be considered as a Planet any.Overall, it is for narrations and books like these that I no longer feel the need of reading Fiction any. This is perhaps the most entertaining book on astronomy I ve ever read I hesitate to even call it a science book While there is lots of information on our solar system that I didn t even know, this is of a personal journey for the author, chronicling his victories and his frustrations in his search for a tenth planet while committing planetary homicide along the way It is Mike Brown s light humor and witty insight that makes this book work so well.So what have I learned 1 Planet demotion isn t unique In fact not only have planets been demoted before Pluto but being a planet is a bad career move.2 Science is a shady business After talking to a scientist about your new discovery always check your back for stab wounds.3 There are rules in naming astronomical bodies Always check with the astronomy committees before naming your planet after a TV warrior queen.4 Speaking of naming, Petunia is an awful name for a baby girl I m sure she is happy you changed it.Seriously, this book was a very informative look at the process of science and how scientists search for new entities in space This is the type of science book that will appeal to anyone no matter what the level of astronomical knowledge.