The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet

In August 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted Pluto out of planethood. It is a wonder Pluto has any fans, yet during the mounting debate over Pluto's status, people rallied behind the extraterrestrial underdog. Pluto is entrenched in the American cultural, patriotic view of the cosmos and Neil deGrasse Tyson is on a quest to discover why.

When the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History reclassified Pluto as an icy comet, the New York Times proclaimed on page one, “Pluto Not a Planet? Only in New York.” Immediately, the public, professionals, and press were choosing sides over Pluto’s planethood. Pluto is entrenched in our cultural and emotional view of the cosmos, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, award-winning author and director of the Rose Center, is on a quest to discover why. He stood at the heart of the controversy over Pluto’s demotion, and consequently Plutophiles have freely shared their opinions with him, including endless hate mail from third-graders. With his inimitable wit, Tyson delivers a minihistory of planets, describes the oversized characters of the people who study them, and recounts how America's favorite planet was ousted from the cosmic hub. Color illustrations

The New York Times bestseller: “You gotta read this. It is the most exciting book about Pluto you will ever read in your life.” - Jon Stewart


The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet is a book written by astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. The book is about Pluto, which was demoted to the status of dwarf planet in August 2006 by the International Astronomical Union, thereby relinquishing it of its planet-hood. The book also focuses on the fact that many Americans rallied their support for this icy dwarf on the edge of the Solar System because it was discovered by an American.

The book was given a good review by Jon Stewart in a guest segment with Tyson on The Daily Show. During the interview, Stewart humorously lauded the book as "the most exciting book about Pluto you will ever read in your life," as well as "the compelling story of how [Tyson] destroyed Pluto's life."

The book explains in full detail the journey of Pluto's life from its days as Planet X, to its discovery in the early 20th century and all the way to its current title as a Trans-Neptunian object.

The book appeared on the extended hardcover nonfiction bestseller list in The New York Times in February 2009. - Wikipedia


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