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From Pluto's 1930 discovery to the emotional reaction worldwide to its demotion from planetary status, astrophysicist, science popularizer and Hayden Planetarium director deGrasse Tyson (Death by Black Hole) offers a lighthearted look at the planet. Astronomical calculations predicted the presence of a mysterious and distant Planet X decades before Clyde Tombaugh spotted it in 1930. DeGrasse Tyson speculates on why straw polls show Pluto to be the favorite planet of American elementary school students (for one, Pluto sounds the most like a punch line to a hilarious joke). But Pluto's rock and ice composition, backward rotation and problematic orbit raised suspicions. As the question of Pluto's nature was being debated by scientists, the newly constructed Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Hayden Planetarium quietly but definitively relegated Pluto to the icy realm of Kuiper Belt Objects (cold, distant leftovers from the solar system's formation), raising a firestorm. Astronomers discussed and argued and finally created an official definition of what makes a planet. This account, if a bit Tyson-centric, presents the medicine of hard science with a sugarcoating of lightness and humor. 35 color and 10 b&w illus. (Jan.)
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An eclectic delight. Readers will laugh at the collection of song lyrics and cartoons inspired by the great Pluto-versy. . . . Smile at the photocopied letters from elementary-school children. (Fred Burtz - Seattle Times )
Expertly relates the history and science of Pluto. (Jeffrey Beall - Library Journal )
"FOOFARAW: a disturbance or to-do over a trifle" - from the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary
"Science is not a democracy" - from THE PLUTO FILES... Read more
lots of good history & facts about Pluto & the solar system with typical NDT humor & down-to-earth-ness. but more of a long essay than a stand alone book.Published 12 days ago by Mike Burns
You learn about the original discovery of Pluto, the basic facts about it and scientific debates over it, but basically this is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time,... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Marc Lichtman
On the eve of the Pluto flyby of the New Horizons spacecraft I could not help but think of how much has changed for the planet since the probe’s launch over nine years ago in... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Kirk Aug
Prior to reading this, I did not realize that Neil deGrasse Tyson has been a central character in the drama surrounding Pluto's planetary status. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sagar Jethani
A fun read! Clyde Tombaugh's ashes should go past Pluto July 2015 in New Horizons space probe...Published 1 month ago by MT North Star
This book, the Pluto Files, is an entertaining and informative introduction to the planet Pluto and its fate as a planet. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Thomas Wikman
Great piece on everything you probably didn't want to know on Pluto. I really liked it but was left fizzling out by the end due to the wealth of information brought to light... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nick