astronomy

The Pluto Files

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by Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Overall: A funny and very intelligent resource for your Plutonian needs!


Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Famous astronomer, now with his own show Cosmos on Discovery and slowly taking over NOVA for the good of the public. Voted sexiest man in science, this brilliant man who was inspired by Carl Sagan strives to educate the world on all things science. But he’s not just all of that, he was the man that brought down Pluto as its planet status (well, inspired it, we have to thank all the amazing people over at the International Astronomical Union for its crash).

Pluto, this mysterious dwarf planet, captured all of America’s hearts and charmed its ways into the lives of elementary school children everywhere. Discovered in 1930 by American Clyde Tombaugh, it’s no wonder why Americans were dedicated to trying to keep Pluto as a planet. But its peculiar pattern made it the most abnormal of planets.

This book is an excellent informal essay with tons of media and graphics that describe Pluto’s history and the hype that surrounded America. With a bit of snark and wit, Tyson shows both his own account over the long debate that puzzled astronomers, cosmologists, and physicists alike. Not only that, but the pages are filled with interesting song lyrics, comics, and even the letters that Tyson himself received from angry elementary school children who were wondering why he would ruin Pluto’s planethood.

Not only does this book give you a nice resource if you are just casually interested in learning about Pluto, Tyson also offers the alternative for learning if a teacher asks “Well, how am I supposed to talk about the planets if Pluto isn’t a planet but a dwarf planet?” Everything in this book is taken with stride and very easy to understand. Without the large Appendix and the graphics this book could’ve easily been 50% shorter, so this shows you how quick this book is easy to read (also considering it is in very large font).

Enjoy this book, and enjoy Pluto!

If you’re interested, watch this NOVA special of the exact name!

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