Archive for March 1st, 2010

Science at home: The Pluto Files

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

I suspect that someday, when I’m not yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off my lawn, I’ll gather them ’round and tell them how, when I was their age, Pluto was a planet.

The demotion of Pluto from full planet status in 2006 surprised me, and I will admit to a pang of sadness upon realizing that my mnemonic device of “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” would no longer work (“My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh, No Pluto?”). However, I didn’t begin to imagine just how much Pluto’s removal from our Solar System roster would upset the public and divide the scientific community.

Tomorrow, March 2nd, PBS premiers The Pluto Files, the inside story to “the rise and fall of America’s favorite planet” based on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book of the same name. If the program is anything like it’s preview, it should be a funny and interesting look at the little planet that was.

In addition to the program, PBS has released several short videos interviewing major news broadcasters on their opinion of Pluto and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Watch the clip below to hear Brian Williams proclaim that Tyson is not the boss of the Solar System, or him.

March 2010

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