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 2010 memoir by Mike Brown, the American 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 mistakenly thought to be larger than Pluto, located within the scattered disc, beyond Neptune's orbit. The replaying of events includes 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. 


  • Brown, Michael E. (2010). How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming. ISBN 0-385-53108-7.