Pluto Rises

When Jon Stewart really likes a book, there’s a special sparkle to the author interview. This week, he gave the love to astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson. Stewart describes him as “the man who killed Pluto.” 

As a result, the book rose on Amazon sales rankings from #174 to #89. Some libraries are showing holds. It’s also available in audio, which few libraries own.





The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet
Tyson, Neil deGrasse

  • Hardcover: $23.95; 224 pages
  • Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. (January 26, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0393065200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393065206


  • Unabridged Audio: Blackstone
  • Read by: Mirron Willis
  • Playaway: 1-4332-5643-1 $54.99 NA
  • 1 MP3CD: 1-4332-4410-0 $19.95 NA
  • 4 CD: 1-4332-4407-0 $50.00

One Response to “Pluto Rises”

  1. Laurel Kornfeld Says:

    Tyson is wrong about Pluto, and he did not “kill” it because one cannot have killed something that is not dead. Pluto is a planet because it is large enough to have pulled itself into a round shape, a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium. When this happens, objects become geologically differentiated just like the larger planets and unlike inert, shapeless asteroids. Significantly, Tyson never addresses the issue of hydrostatic equilibrium.

    The controversial IAU demotion of Pluto was done by only four percent of its membership, most of whom are not planetary scientists, in a process that violated the group’s own bylaws. It was immediately rejected by an equal number of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. Even now, efforts are underway by both scientists and lay people to overturn the IAU decision.

    Tyson is also wrong when he states that only Americans love Pluto and when he attributes that love to the Disney dog. Just because he cannot account for people’s affinity for Pluto (as he himself has said) doesn’t mean he can pull an answer out of the air and be correct. The reality is that people who love Pluto are almost always those who already have an interest in astronomy and the solar system. And there are plenty of Pluto supporters around the world in places other than the US. I know because I have been corresponding with many of them online. I plan to write a book of my own on this subject telling the other side of this ongoing debate.