I was recently feeling that there wasn’t enough science in my life (I don’t know, it was a feeling) so I did what I usually do when I want more of a topic–I found a book about it. Specifically, I went to the library and looked up “astronomy” in the Dewey Decimal system and went over to that shelf to see what I could find. And so I stumbled onto How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown–and it was excellent.
Mike Brown is the astronomer who found a large object beyond Pluto, igniting the debate (or at least, seriously heating it up) about what exactly a planet is, and whether Pluto qualifies. His book is a kind of astronomy memoir, about his work looking for large objects beyond Pluto, in the Kuiper Belt. The one that caused the controversy, nicknamed Xena and eventually named Eris, wasn’t the first one he found, so the story is something of a journey through near-misses, other discoveries, Mike’s own engagement, marriage and birth of his daughter along the way, and finally the great Pluto controversy. It was very readable throughout and really fascinating. Continue reading “Book Review: How I Killed Pluto”