Modern day planet hunter lands big prize

If you want to know who murdered Pluto, it was Mike Brown! Mike greatly expanded the our understanding of the solar system with the discovery of Eris and several other Kuiper Belt Objects objects. He and two team members have landed the ‘Nobel Prize’ of astronomy:

Huntsville Times— Although he’s won oodles of scientific accolades, Brown, 47, said he is especially excited about being a Kavli Prize laureate. Billed as a more contemporary Nobel Prize, the Kavli recognizes scientists for their “seminal advances” in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

He is sharing this year’s prize in astrophysics with two fellow astronomers who first spotted the Kuiper Belt: David C. Jewett of the University of California, Berkeley and Jane X. Luu of the Massachussets Institute of Technology.

I interviewed and reviewed Mike Brown’s fascinating book, How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming, where he explains the current version of Clyde Tombaugh’s planet hunter techniques, a couple of years ago here. He noted in comments he considers those object pictured above as “his babies”.


  1. StevoR says

    Good book and person but I totally disagree with Mike Brown on whether or not Pluto – and the other ice dwarfs – are planets.

    I think it makes much more sense to say they are and the IAU got it badly wrong.

    Pluto will always be a planet for me – & I really think the IAU will one day hopefully sooner rather than later correct their error here. I think that would be good for astronomy generally.

Leave a Reply