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Public Lecture on "How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming"

January 19, 2011 @ 12:00 am EST

Astronomer Michael Brown, from the CaliforniaInstitute of Technology, will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on:

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had it Coming!

as part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California. Free and open to the public.

Parking on campus costs $2. Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information and driving directions.

No background in science will be required for this talk.

The controversial "demotion" of Pluto was mainly the result of discoveries by a team of astronomers led by Michael Brown. In this talk, Dr. Brown will share the inside story of how he discovered "other Pluto's" out there beyond Neptune, including Eris, which is larger than Pluto. He named that new world for the goddess of discord because, as he'll describe with his characteristic humor, its discovery resulted in a private and public controversy that led to
a redefinition of what a planet is.

Dr. Brown has written a popular-level memoir, How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming, and he will be signing books after the lecture.

Dr. Brown is Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology and specializes in the discovery and study of bodies at the edge of the solar system. He recently received the Richard P. Feynman Award for Outstanding Teaching at Caltech and was elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. He was also named one of Wired Online's Top Ten Sexiest Geeks in 2006, the mention of which never ceases to make his wife laugh.

The lecture is co-sponsored by:
* NASA Ames Research Center
* The Foothill College Astronomy Program
* The SETI Institute
* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Past Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures are now available
in MP3 format at:


January 19, 2011
12:00 am EST


USA - California
California USA
(626) 793-5100


Andrew Fraknoi
View Organizer Website