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How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming…
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How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming (utgåvan 2010)

av Mike Brown, Greg Mollica (Omslagsformgivare), Nicholas Blechman (Omslag), Bob Paz (Fotograf)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6513327,231 (4.08)20
The astronomer who inadvertently triggered the "demotion" of Pluto in his effort to officially recognize the solar system's tenth planet describes the ensuing debates and public outcry while revealing the behind-the-scenes story of his discovery.
Medlem:jesusandrew
Titel:How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming
Författare:Mike Brown
Andra författare:Greg Mollica (Omslagsformgivare), Nicholas Blechman (Omslag), Bob Paz (Fotograf)
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2010), Hardcover, 288 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming av Mike Brown

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This a great book for a lot of reasons. This little gem is an excellent description of a scientist involved in his research but it is also a wonderful meditation on dealing with work, the big things and the mundane things, and what happens when life brings to us a partner and, ultimately, a child. I enjoyed reading about Mike Brown the astronomer, but I also was moved when the astronomer realized he was falling in love and the additional joy that came with the birth of his daughter. The issue of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt objects is still not settled. But this is a well written story of how icy minor plants were discovered. ( )
  Steve_Walker | Sep 13, 2020 |
I really like the cover of this book, and I was pretty sure I'd be reading something kind of self-centered with the first-person title, and I wasn't wrong. I'm not necessarily complaining about it, but Mike Brown wrote a book about his life during the period that he was finding objects and when Pluto was reclassified, instead of just writing about those things. So when he did a couple tangents about how great his baby is and how he kept a blog about her, I was expecting it. I even agree with him that it's strange that apparently no one has data on the how far away from the official due date women give birth? That's weird. But it's not really what I was reading for, and I don't really care about Mike Brown. I'm sure he's a great person...though he did do a lot of "I" statements about things that his team did, while still giving them credit. Maybe when he said "I" in certain contexts he actually meant "we". Anyway, it's an interesting look at the lead up to the reclassification of Pluto, and I learned some about the controversy surrounding the discovery of Eris that I didn't know before.

What really bugs me about this though is how often Brown says that he "killed Pluto". It's in the title, presumably for effect which it does have, and apparently he also said that "Pluto is dead" when the vote happened, and he consistently uses that wording through the book. Maybe he thinks we're all smart enough to know that he's just using this wording for effect, but I got tired of it really fast. For someone who wanted the public to accept the reclassification of Pluto, he's using the most damning language possible. Pluto is not dead, except in the sense that it has no life on it (as far as we know...), and it's really annoying to keep hearing it from someone who definitely knows better. I agree with him that "dwarf planet" is kind of a dumb name, and I found it interesting to know that it was only used to try and keep Pluto in the planet club. I also liked his explanation of astronomy terms being used to describe concepts instead of strictly defined things. But seriously, tone it down with the "killing Pluto" thing. It's like he was so let down at not being known as a guy who discovered the 10th planet that he took up the mantle of "planet-killer" just to have some good-sounding notoriety. It would have been note-worthy still to be one of the guys who helped change Pluto's classification. It's not as snazzy, but it's more accurate. I wonder if the other guys on Brown's team refer to themselves as guys who killed Pluto. So after this book, which while I'm sure is factual is also biased, I'm going to seek out some other Pluto books to balance myself out. ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
Part memoir, part history, and a good bit of science.

I enjoyed this story, and explanation of how Pluto lost its title of planet-hood. I already knew basically why Pluto was demoted, but the other history of planets, moons, and stars and various points of light that went through more than one identity was quite interesting.

Also the process of how something is dubbed with a name and classification was new to me, since I'm not in that field. ( )
  Pepperwings | Jan 2, 2019 |
I couldn't bring myself to check it out from the library. Too personal, too garrulous. I don't really care so much about this specific guy's life, it doesn't illuminate mine.
  themulhern | Dec 5, 2018 |
I thought this was a fun read. I learned quite a bit and it was written in a very readable style. I do think more diagrams would have helped readers visualize some of the discussions about the solar system. The one diagram that was included was helpful. ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
Visa 1-5 av 33 (nästa | visa alla)
“How I Killed Pluto” is a strange artifact, an unlikely hybrid of Dennis Overbye’s “Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos” and Anne Lamott’s “Operating Instructions.” It’s not a book about the former ninth planet — or even planetary astronomy — lightly salted with Brown’s family life.

[...]

This approach has a strength: Brown opens the emotional life of an actual scientist to the reader, belying the myth that he and his colleagues are automatons. But it also has a weakness: readers swept along by the thrill of a gigantic story — the discovery of a potential new planet — can be stopped by irrelevancies.
tillagd av lorax | ändraNew York Times, M.G. Lord (Dec 29, 2010)
 
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As an astronomer, I have long had a professional aversion to waking up before dawn, preferring instead to see sunrise not as an early-morning treat, but as the signal that the end of a long night of work has come and it is finally time for overdue sleep.
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The astronomer who inadvertently triggered the "demotion" of Pluto in his effort to officially recognize the solar system's tenth planet describes the ensuing debates and public outcry while revealing the behind-the-scenes story of his discovery.

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