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The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference

The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference
Author: Alan Boyle
ISBN 13: 9780470505441
ISBN 10: 470505443
Edition: 1
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2009-11-01
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 272
List Price: $22.95

"All the intrigue and passion of a political scandal."—K.C. Cole, author of Something Incredibly Wonderful Happens

"An engrossing voyage of discovery about not only Pluto, but about the very process of scientific discovery."—Alan Boss, author of The Crowded Universe

"A must-read for any fan of astronomy!"—Alan Stern, author of Pluto and Charon

Publishers Weekly

When the International Astronomical Union voted in 2006 to evict Pluto from the roster of planets in our solar system, little did they expect the public outcry that would arise. Boyle, an award-winning science writer and the science editor at MSNBC.com, presents the issues regarding Pluto's status, both popular and scientific, in a winning fashion. After its discovery in 1930, the icy rock formerly known as Planet X was embraced by the public imagination, partly due to its status as “the oddball of the solar system”; no doubt having Walt Disney name a cartoon dog after it also helped. But as astronomers learned more about the solar system and the distant Kuiper Belt at its fringes, they realized that Pluto, with its lopsided spin and strangely tilted orbit was very special indeed. Now astronomers have identified at least five dwarf planets, or “mini-worlds,” orbiting our Sun. When the New Horizons spacecraft reaches Pluto in 2015, we'll know more about this “underdog of the solar system.” Even then, the furor is bound to continue. Photos. (Nov.)