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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,264 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mike Brown Narrator: Ryan Gesel Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 more 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 about.

Filled 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 more 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?

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Angela | 2/20/2014

    " Mike Brown has a great sense of humor and a contagious passion for his profession. I was surprised by how easily the writing flowed, and how accessible he made his research. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Callsign222 | 2/15/2014

    " Great book! Lots of fun, good backstory, some science, and astronomy geekness. Loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Holly | 1/20/2014

    " I met Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of Pluto, years ago when I was in college at NMSU. He would eat every Sunday with his colleagues from the universtity at a restaurant called Senor Toucans where I worked. I also interviewed him once briefly for a Journalism paper I wrote. Needless to say, I was annoyed when Pluto was kicked off the island but the book helped me understand why. It was interesting and it makes sense why Pluto got the boot. Poor Pluto. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Katya Epstein | 12/30/2013

    " Exceptionally good: laugh-out-loud funny, informative, suspenseful, readable, nerdy. If you don't know much about astronomy already, I'm not sure how much you'll learn from this book, but it's not dumbed down, and you'll learn a whole lot about how astronomy is practised (apparently they spend all of their time staring at computer screens like the rest of us). Mike Brown is so likable that by the end I found myself wondering if he was painting himself as a little more perfect than he really is. But I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a very long time; this is a perfect example of why I tend to prefer non-fiction over fiction these days. "

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