How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming
Title How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming PDF eBook
Author Mike Brown
Publisher Random House
Pages 290
Release 2012-01-24
Genre Science
ISBN 0385531109

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The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a tenth planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of adding one more planet to our solar system, Brown’s find ignited a firestorm of controversy that culminated in the demotion of Pluto from real planet to the newly coined category of “dwarf” planet. Suddenly Brown was receiving hate mail from schoolchildren and being bombarded by TV reporters—all because of the discovery he had spent years searching for and a lifetime dreaming about. A heartfelt and personal journey filled with both humor and drama, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming is the book for anyone, young or old, who has ever imagined exploring the universe—and who among us hasn’t?




Chasing New Horizons

Chasing New Horizons
Title Chasing New Horizons PDF eBook
Author Alan Stern
Publisher Picador
Pages 316
Release 2018-05-01
Genre Science
ISBN 125009898X

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Called "spellbinding" (Scientific American) and "thrilling...a future classic of popular science" (PW), the up close, inside story of the greatest space exploration project of our time, New Horizons’ mission to Pluto, as shared with David Grinspoon by mission leader Alan Stern and other key players. On July 14, 2015, something amazing happened. More than 3 billion miles from Earth, a small NASA spacecraft called New Horizons screamed past Pluto at more than 32,000 miles per hour, focusing its instruments on the long mysterious icy worlds of the Pluto system, and then, just as quickly, continued on its journey out into the beyond. Nothing like this has occurred in a generation—a raw exploration of new worlds unparalleled since NASA’s Voyager missions to Uranus and Neptune—and nothing quite like it is planned to happen ever again. The photos that New Horizons sent back to Earth graced the front pages of newspapers on all 7 continents, and NASA’s website for the mission received more than 2 billion hits in the days surrounding the flyby. At a time when so many think that our most historic achievements are in the past, the most distant planetary exploration ever attempted not only succeeded in 2015 but made history and captured the world’s imagination. How did this happen? Chasing New Horizons is the story of the men and women behind this amazing mission: of their decades-long commitment and persistence; of the political fights within and outside of NASA; of the sheer human ingenuity it took to design, build, and fly the mission; and of the plans for New Horizons’ next encounter, 1 billion miles past Pluto in 2019. Told from the insider’s perspective of mission leader Dr. Alan Stern and others on New Horizons, and including two stunning 16-page full-color inserts of images, Chasing New Horizons is a riveting account of scientific discovery, and of how much we humans can achieve when people focused on a dream work together toward their incredible goal.




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

The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet
Title The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet PDF eBook
Author Neil deGrasse Tyson
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Pages 224
Release 2010-07-12
Genre Science
ISBN 0393073343

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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 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.




Rock Legends

Rock Legends
Title Rock Legends PDF eBook
Author Paul Murdin
Publisher Springer
Pages 207
Release 2016-07-13
Genre Science
ISBN 3319318365

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This book relates the history of asteroid discoveries and christenings, from those of the early pioneering giants of Hersehel and Piazzi to modern-day amateurs. Moving from history and anecdotal information to science, the book's structure is provided by the names of the asteroids, including one named after the author. Free from a need to conform to scientific naming conventions, the names evidence hero-worship, sycophancy, avarice, vanity, whimsy, erudition and wit, revealing the human side of astronomers, especially where controversy has followed the christening. Murdin draws from extensive historical records to explore the debate over these names. Each age reveals its own biases and preferences in the naming process. “/p> Originally regarded as “vermin of the skies,” asteroids are minor planets, rocky scraps left over from the formation of the larger planets, or broken fragments of worlds that have collided. Their scientific classification as “minor” planets makes them seem unimportant, but over the past decades asteroids have been acknowledged to be key players in the Solar System. This view of their starring role even alters the trajectories of spacecraft: NASA’s policy for new space missions en route to the outer planets is that they must divert to study passing asteroids whenever possible. This book provides for readers a complete tour of the fascinating world of asteroids.




Words and Distinctions for the Common Good

Words and Distinctions for the Common Good
Title Words and Distinctions for the Common Good PDF eBook
Author Gabriel Abend
Publisher Princeton University Press
Pages 464
Release 2023-07-25
Genre Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN 0691247064

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How social scientists' disagreements about their key words and distinctions have been misconceived, and what to do about it Social scientists do research on a variety of topics—gender, capitalism, populism, and race and ethnicity, among others. They make descriptive and explanatory claims about empathy, intelligence, neoliberalism, and power. They advise policymakers on diversity, digitalization, work, and religion. And yet, as Gabriel Abend points out in this provocative book, they can’t agree on what these things are and how to identify them. How to tell if something is a religion or a cult or a sect? What is empathy? What makes this society a capitalist one? Disputes of this sort arise again and again in the social sciences. Abend argues that these disagreements have been doubly misconceived. First, they conflate two questions: how a social science community should use its most important words, and what distinctions it should accept and work with. Second, there’s no fact of the matter about either. Instead, they’re practical reason questions for a community, which aim at epistemically and morally good outcomes. Abend calls on social science communities to work together on their words, distinctions, and classifications. They must make collective decisions about the uses of words, the acceptability of distinctions, and the criteria for assessing both. These decisions aren’t up to individual scholars; the community gets the last word. According to Abend, the common good, justice, and equality should play a significant role in the logic of scientific research. Gabriel Abend is professor of sociology at University of Lucerne and the author of The Moral Background: An Inquiry into the History of Business Ethics (Princeton).




Science Is Not What You Think

Science Is Not What You Think
Title Science Is Not What You Think PDF eBook
Author Henry H. Bauer
Publisher McFarland
Pages 260
Release 2017-06-26
Genre Reference
ISBN 1476669104

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This book discusses the ways in which science, the touchstone of reliable knowledge in modern society, changed dramatically in the second half of the 20th century, becoming less trustworthy through conflicts of interest and excessive competitiveness. Fraud became common enough that organized efforts to combat it now include a federal Office of Research Integrity. Competent minority opinions are sometimes thereby suppressed, with the result that policy makers, the media and the public are presented with biased or incomplete information. Evidence tending to challenge established theories is sometimes rejected without addressing its substance. While most would agree in the abstract that science can go wrong, few would consider--despite interesting contrary evidence--that official consensus about the origins of the universe or the causes of global warming might be mistaken.




A Brief Welcome to the Universe

A Brief Welcome to the Universe
Title A Brief Welcome to the Universe PDF eBook
Author Neil deGrasse Tyson
Publisher Princeton University Press
Pages 248
Release 2021-09-07
Genre Science
ISBN 0691223610

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A pocket-style edition based on the New York Times bestseller A Brief Welcome to the Universe offers a breathtaking tour of the cosmos, from planets, stars, and galaxies to black holes and time loops. Bestselling authors and acclaimed astrophysicists Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss, and J. Richard Gott take readers on an unforgettable journey of exploration to reveal how our universe actually works. Propelling you from our home solar system to the outermost frontiers of space, this book builds your cosmic insight and perspective through a marvelously entertaining narrative. How do stars live and die? What are the prospects of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? How did the universe begin? Why is it expanding and accelerating? Is our universe alone or part of an infinite multiverse? Exploring these and many other questions, this pocket-friendly book is your passport into the wonders of our evolving cosmos.