Astronomy Book Analysis

Christine Fralick

The Pluto Files

The Pluto Files is a book written by the astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson. It discusses the rise and fall of Pluto in how it was first discovered and then eventually classified as a plant. Tyson, the director of the Rose Center for Earth & Space at the Hayden Planetarium in New York, was in charge of the Planetarium's renovation. The Rose Center wanted to do something different than traditional museum displays by grouping like objects together which, after much consideration, meant that Pluto would be placed in a class with other icy objects, far from the rest of the planets. The rest of the Pluto


I thought The Pluto Files was a very interesting book. It was very well written in how it could appeal to a wide variety of audiences since it covered the general history of Pluto, but in understandable terms. It also took time to explain topics so that the information wouldn't go over people's heads. I particularly liked it because he interspersed humor into the book in his own writing and also including very funny letters people wrote him about their opinions on his part in Pluto being demoted from planet status.

How it's related to topics from our course

This relates to the topics about the solar system and planets that we learned about in class. We actually went over why Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet rather than a planet (because it only meets two of the three necessary characteristics of being a planet) and how it actually has more in common with other icy Kuiper Belt objects.

Why Pluto went from Planet to Dwarf Planet


  • Book: Tyson, Neil DeGrasse. The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014. Print.
  • Picture: "The Pluto Files." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Mar. 2017. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
  • Picture: Dane. "The Day We Killed Pluto." Kards Unlimited. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.
  • Picture: "Pluto Information." VideoHive. N.p., 09 Dec. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.

  • Video: RimstarOrg. "Why Pluto Went from Planet to Dwarf Planet." YouTube. YouTube, 05 Apr. 2014. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.