Pluto Confidential : An Insider Account of the Ongoing Battles over the Status of Pluto

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-08-04
  • Publisher: Perseus Distribution Services
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When the International Astronomical Union adopted a new definition of a "planet" in August 2006, Pluto became a dwarf planet, drawing a divisive line in science and public opinions. The controversy of whether Pluto is a planet continues years later, and passion about the decision remains, pitting scientist against scientist and invoking sentiments and nostalgia from the rest of the world. With the IAU definition, the future of space objects is forever changed. Learn how this resolution came to be and what it means for astronomy, who implemented it and who is against it, and whether it's the first or millionth time the world's view of astronomy has rotated on its axis. Written by an astronomer and educator who voted for the IAU resolution--Laurence A. Marschall--and a NASA scientist who supported the opposing petition that resulted--Stephen P. Maran--Pluto Confidential leaves no perspective out and no asteroid unturned in the Pluto debate. A telescopic look inside the book: * History of planetary disputes, including why Jupiter almost wasn't acknowledged * What Bode's Law is and how it has influenced observations * Who discovered Pluto and how it was named * The Kuiper Belt and its role in what it means to be a planet * Beyond Pluto and the eight distinguished planets

Table of Contents

Summer in Praguep. 1
The Great Pluto Debate and the Great Pluto Debatersp. 17
Contentious Planets: The Early History of Planetary Disputesp. 35
Ceres and Theories: The Search for Planets Beginsp. 55
Neptune's Disputed Discoveryp. 69
Vulcan, the Planet That Wasn'tp. 91
The Pluto Saga Beginsp. 109
The Exploration of Plutop. 129
Unveiling the Kuiper Beltp. 147
Exoplanet Warsp. 163
What's Next for Pluto?p. 183
Acknowledgmentsp. 193
Notes on Sourcesp. 195
Recommended Readingp. 219
About the Authorsp. 223
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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