Tag Archives | Pluto

The Fight for the Ninth Planet

Alan Boyle in Wired Science:

If there’s still someone out there who thinks science and politics never mix, the story behind the Battle of Prague should change your mind.

Some have cast the debate that took place in the Czech capital during the summer of 2006 as a battle against American scientists who wanted to keep the only planet discovered by an American on an unreasonably high pedestal. On the other side of the argument, there are those who suspect that the rest of the world wanted to see Pluto demoted to punish America for its unpopular foreign policy.

But we’re not talking about that kind of politics. We’re not even talking about a battle between the fans and foes of Pluto per se. Instead of thinking in terms of Republicans versus Democrats, or Plutophiles versus Plutoclasts, you have to think in terms of planetary conservatives versus liberals — or, more accurately, dynamicists versus geophysicists.

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Where Are You Hiding Planet X, Dr. Brown?

Discovery Science has a great interview with Pluto killer Mike Brown:

The scoop: Mike Brown is a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and an expert dwarf planet hunter, accredited with discovering over 100 minor bodies in the Kuiper belt. Dr. Brown is also very well known for his part in the re-classification of Pluto.

In this very special IM Interview, Dr. Brown takes some time out with space producer Ian O’Neill to discuss killing Pluto, hate mail and whether there’s a massive Planet X hiding near the Kuiper belt ready to strike Earth in 2012 (spoiler: Mike isn’t part of a global conspiracy to hide Nibiru). To keep up with his Kuiper belt adventures, follow Mike on Twitter: @plutokiller.

Mike Brown: Back from lunch. Ready for Planet X.

Ian O’Neill: Lol, sounds good!

Right, my first question has to be about Pluto. How much hate mail do you get since you killed the poor little dwarf planet?

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