How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

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How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the title of the 2010 memoir by Mike Brown, the Caltech astronomer most responsible for the reclassification of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet.[1]


The memoir is an account of the events surrounding the redefinition of the term planet that eventually changed the status of Pluto. It chronicles the discovery of Eris, a dwarf planet then thought to be even larger than Pluto, located within the scattered disc, beyond Neptune's orbit. The replaying of events include the adversarial challenging of long-held scientific beliefs between some of the world's leading astronomers, and the eventual 2006 International Astronomical Union's vote that removed Pluto from the list of Solar System planets.[1]


Reviews of the book have been generally positive, with James Kennedy of The Wall Street Journal calling the book a "brisk" and "enjoyable ... chronicle" of the tale of the search for new planets and the eventual demotion of Pluto from planetary status.[2] Janet Maslin of the New York Times called it a "short, eager-to-please research memoir".[3]


  1. ^ a b Lengel, Kerry (January 2, 2011). "'Republic' book pick for Jan.: 'How I Killed Pluto'". The Arizona Republic. p. AE4. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Kennedy, James (November 26, 2010). "The Man Who Made a Planet Vanish". Books and Ideas. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (December 5, 2010). "Downsizing: When a Heavenly Body Got the Boot". Arts. The New York Times. Retrieved 3 January 2011.