ᥔ Free Format Kindle [ How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming eBook: Mike Brown: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l. ] ᦄ By Mike Brown ᦣ Chapter OneWhat Is a Planet One December night in 1999, a friend and I were sitting on a mountaintop east of San Diego inside a thirteen story tall dome Only a few lights illuminated the uncluttered floor of the cavernous interior, but above you could vaguely see the bottom half of the massive Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory The Hale Telescope was, for almost fifty years, the largest telescope in the world, but from where we sat, with the weak yellow incandescent lighting being swallowed in the darkness above, you would never have guessed where you were You might have thought you were deep in the interior of a pristine Hoover Dam, with cables and wire and pipes for directing the flow of water around You might have believed that the steel structures around you were part of the far underground support and control of a spotlessly clean century old subway system Only when the entire building gently rumbled and a tiny sliver of the starry sky appeared far over your head and the telescope began to move soundlessly and swiftly to point to some new distant object in the universe, only then would you be able to make out the shadowy outline of the truss all the way to the top of the dome and realize that you were but a dot at the base of a giant machine whose only purpose was to gather the light from a single spot beyond the sky and focus it to a tiny point just over your head.Usually when I am working at the telescope I sit in the warm, well lit control room, looking at computer screens showing instrument readouts, staring at digital pictures just pulled from the sky, and pondering meteorological readings and forecasts for southern California Sometimes, though, I like to step out into the cold, dark dome and stand at the very base of the telescope and look up at the sky through the tiny open sliver high overhead and seewith my own eyesexactly what the giant machine is looking at This December night, however, as I was sitting with my friend inside the dark dome, there was no sky to see The dome was fastened closed, and the telescope was idle because the entire mountain was covered in cold, dripping fog.I tend to get quite glum on nights when Im at a telescope with the dome closed and the precious night is slipping past An astronomer gets to use one of these biggest telescopes only a handful of nights per year If the night is cloudy or rainy or snowy, too bad Your night on the telescope is simply lost, and you get to try again next year Its hard not to think about lost time and lost discoveries as the second hand very slowly crawls through the night and your dome stays closed Sabinemy friendtried to cheer me up by asking about life and work, but it didnt help I instead told her about how my father had died that spring, and how I felt unable to really focus on my work She finally asked me if there was anything that I was excited about these days I paused for a few minutes I momentarily forgot about the freezing fog and the closed dome and the ticking clock I think theres another planet past Pluto, I told her.Another planet Such a suggestion would have generally been scoffed at by most astronomers in the last days of the twentieth century While it is true that for much of the last century astronomers had diligently searched for a mythical Planet X beyond Pluto, by about 1990 they had or less convinced themselves that all that searching in the past had been in vain Planet X simply did not exist Astronomers were certain that they had a pretty good inventory of what the solar system contained, of all of the planets and their moons, and of most of the comets and asteroids that circled the sun There were certainly small asteroids still to be discovered, and occasionally a bright comet that had never been seen before would come screaming in from the far depths of space, but certainly nothing major was left out there to find Serious discussions by serious astronomers of another planet beyond Pluto were as likely as serious discussions by serious geologists on the location of the lost continent of Atlantis What kind of an astronomer would sit underneath one of the biggest telescopes in the world and declare, I think theres another planet past Pluto Almost a decade earlier, in the late summer of 1992, I was in the long middle years of my graduate studies at Berkeley the place where I was taught that Planet X certainly did not exist and that we already knew pretty much everything we needed to know about what there was in the solar system I didnt think much about Planet X those days I was midway through a Ph.D dissertation about the planet Jupiter and its volcanic moon Io When youre midway through a Ph.D dissertation, your mind acquires narrow blinders, so I didnt think much about anything other than Io and how its volcanoes spewed material into space and affected Jupiters powerful magnetic field I had so few thoughts to spare for most of the quotidian universe that I had fallen into a pattern of every day eating the same lunch at the same coffee shop right next to the Berkeley campus and having dinner at the same burrito stand a block away At night I would ride my bicycle back down toward the San Francisco Bay to the marina where I lived on a tiny sailboat The next morning I would start all over again Less time thinking about what and where to eat and sleep meant time thinking about Io and volcanoes and Jupiter and how they all fit together.But, occasionally, even obsessive Ph.D students need a break.One afternoon, as on many times previous, after spending too much time staring at data on my computer screen and reading technical papers in dense journals and writing down thoughts and ideas in my black bound notebooks, I opened the door of my little graduate student office on the roof of the astronomy building, stepped into the enclosed rooftop courtyard, and climbed the metal stairs that went to the very top of the roof to an open balcony As I stared at the San Francisco Bay laid out in front of me, trying to pull my head back down to the earth by watching the boats blowing across the water, Jane Luu, a friend and researcher in the astronomy department who had an office across the rooftop courtyard, clunked up the metal stairs and looked out across the water in the same direction I was staring Softly and conspiratorially she said, Nobody knows it yet, but we just found the Kuiper belt.I could tell that she knew she was onto something big, could sense her excitement, and I was flattered that here she was telling me this astounding information that no one else knew.Wow, I said Whats the Kuiper belt Its funny today to think that I had no idea what she was talking about Today if you sat next to me on an airplane and asked about the Kuiper belt, I might talk for hours about the region of space beyond Neptune where vast numbers of small icy objects circle the sun in cold storage and about how, occasionally, one of them comes plummeting into the inner part of the solar system to light up the skies like a comet I might talk about the very edge of the solar system, where millions of little icy bodies never quite got gathered up into one big planet but instead stayed strewn in the disk surrounding the solar system And I might tell you a little history, about how in the early 1990s no one had seen such a thing as this Kuiper belt, but a small group of astronomers who had predicted its existence had named the region the Kuiper belt after Dutch American astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who had speculated about its existence decades earlier And finally, if you were still listening and the plane had not yet landed, I would tell you how this Kuiper belt was finally seen, for the first time, in the late summer of 1992, and how I first learned about it on the roof of the Berkeley astronomy building a day before it appeared on the front page of The New York Times.But when Jane told me she had just found the Kuiper belt, I didnt know any of this Jane explained She had not found this vast collection of bodies beyond Neptune, exactly, but simply a single small icy body circling the sun well beyond the orbit of Pluto The body was tinymuch, much smaller than Plutoand as far as anyone knew for sure, it might have circled the sun all alone at the edge of the solar system But still, exciting, right Cute, I thought But its just one tiny object, and its farther away than Pluto How could that matter So I nodded and listened and, like any diligent Ph.D student midway through a dissertation, eventually walked back down the stairs, stepped into my office, and reentered the world of Jupiter and Io and volcanoes, where I actually resided.I was wrong, of course Even though the object discovered was only a lonely, relatively tiny ball of ice orbiting beyond Pluto, it showed that astronomers had been wrong They didnt actually know everything there were things still to be found at the edge of our own solar system Some astronomers were reluctant to consider this new possibility seriously, and they dismissed the discovery as nothing than a fluke that presaged absolutely nothing But soon, as and astronomers became excited about the possibility of discovery and started searching the regions beyond Pluto, and of these small bodies began to be found.By the end of 1999, on the foggy December night when Sabine and I were sitting underneath the Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory and I was proclaiming that I thought there were new planets to be found, astronomers around the world had already discovered almost five hundred of these bodies in a vast disk beyond the orbit of Neptune in what looked very much indeed like the Kuiper belt From being something that most astronomers had perhaps heard of once or twice, the Kuiper belt had become the hottest new fPraise for How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming Finally I have someone to whom I can forward the hate mail I get from schoolchildren After all these years, the real destroyer of Pluto has confessed Part memoir and part planetary saga, How I Killed Pluto invites you into planetary scientist Mike Browns office, his home, and his head as he tells the story of how his research on the outer solar system led directly to the death of Pluto, the planet.Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium and author of The Pluto Files The Rise and Fall of Americas Favorite Planet Damn Mike Brown for exploding the solar system model weve been carrying around in our heads since elementary school Praise him for showing us that stargazing, far from being a dead science, is a living, changing wonder.Benjamin Wallace, author of The Billionaires Vinegar Romance, intrigue, laughter, skullduggery, and most of all science Mike Brown has done than anyone to reshape our view of the solar system, and this first person account of his discoveries is an irresistible page turner Youll have so much fun, you wont even notice how much youre learning.Sean Carroll, author of F rom Eternity to Here The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time Science is at its best when it shakes up our thinking, and when it comes to planets, Mike Brown has grabbed on with both hands Whether you think Pluto is a planet or just another ice ball, youll find Browns tale of exploring the outer solar system a charming and even endearing read If Pluto is indeed dead, then its sacrifice was not in vain.Philip Plait, author of Death from the Skies Browns brisk, enjoyable How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming chronicles the whole saga of the demotion of Pluto and, in the process, makes Plutos sad fate easier to take If weve lost a planet, weve gained a sprightly new voice for popular scienceWriting with an appealing wit, Brown resists the glibness to which science popularizations sometimes fall preyThe cheerful, unaffected tone makes it hard not to like Brown, and to root for him when he finds himself in the midst of controversy Wall Street Journal iCasualties Iraq iCasualties Home Page At least ten civilians were killed following an airstrike in the eastern Paktia province bordering Pakistan, Afghan officials said Sunday Shausta Jan Ahady, a former provincial council member, that women and children among those strike carried out day earlier US Strikes Killed Scores of Russia Fighters Syria Feb , US forces scores Russian mercenaries last week what may be deadliest clash between citizens foes since Cold War, according to News Latest National News, Videos Photos ABC Get latest breaking news across on ABCNews Beirut barracks bombings Wikipedia On October two truck bombs struck buildings Beirut, Lebanon, housing American French service members Multinational Force Lebanon MNF peacekeeping operation during Lebanese Civil WarThe attack people peacekeepers, attackers The first suicide bomber detonated bomb at building serving as Gunman Kills Least Attack Rural Texas Church Nov Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire church rural Sunday, killing He was pursued by residents found dead his car Database Systems: Design, Implementation, & ManagementShooting Michael Brown Jr May August graduated from Normandy High School St Louis County eight days before death, completing alternative education program time he years old, ft m tall, weighed lb kg amateur musician who posted songs popular music sharing site Soundcloud under handle Ferguson protests What we know about s happened encounter Officer Darren Wilson Here is look known remains discovered Three minutes how long it took Michael Shooting Ferguson Missouri Top One Year Since Death Observes Minutes Silence Nearly five silence marked high noon Ferguson, Missouri, What Happened New York Times Aug Brown, unarmed black teenager, shot Wilson, white police officer, Mo suburb Mike plutokiller Twitter Tweets Mike Astronomer, planet hunter, Pluto killer, bear whisperer, Finger wrapped dad Dangerous secularist Pasadena, CA NBA Brown College San Diego returned Cavaliers team th head coach franchise history April most recently coached Los Angeles Lakers mikearildbrown Morning editor inversedotcom Words Pocketlint CityMetric IBTimes NeowinFeed BuildingNews Tech, transport, politics gmail London via Brighton shooting CNN accounts why officer fatally teenager street couldn t disparate Browne YouTube Learning photography should fun inspiring so ve broken down into bite size videos which get point I have experience pro photographer, Timeline MoKILA Timeline A events unfolded after How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming eBook: Mike Brown: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming eBook: Mike Brown: Amazon.fr: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Format Kindle
- 290 pages
- Mike Brown
- 21 November 2017 Mike Brown