Book review: How I Killed Pluto, and Why It Had It Coming, by Mike Brown

Mike Brown is an astronomer who likes planets (apparently the moon is his nemesis, which I find amusing since his wife is called Diane. Amusingly, despite his sense of humour and the amount of time he spends in this book looking up the names of mythological figures, the coincidence of names has passed him by. But I digress. Already. Oh dear.). He’s the person who discovered the dwarf planet Eris (formerly known as Xena) and her moon, as well as two other very large bodies in the Kuipfler belt (an area beyond Neptune staffed by such well-known dwarf planets as Pluto), Haumea and Makemake (formerly known as Santa and Easterbunny).

Also, he has a daughter who was born right when he was discovering Eris, defending Santa from Spanish pirates, and trying to get Pluto demoted from planet status. Because he is a scientist, he has graphs of all her sleeping and feeding times (which you can find online, incidentally – apparently young Lilah had quite a following), which he analyses in various ways.

Oh, and the relevant part is that he is the author of How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, a very funny, completely fascinating and extremely educational book about planets, astronomy, the workings of science, and why you really need a good sense of humour to be married to a scientist.

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