When Is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto

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Overview

Q: When is a planet not a planet?

Scientists have argued for years over the answer to this question. And central to their debate has been Pluto, the tiny orb circling the Sun at the outermost reaches of our solar. Then on August 24, 2006, a group of astronomers made a big announcement: Pluto could no longer be considered a planet.

This fascinating and breathtakingly illustrated book explains in simple terms how advancements in technology have ...

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2007 AudioCD Good Audio Book 1 AUDIO CD, withdrawn from the library collection, polished for your satisfaction for a worthwhile set. Some library marking to the box and the CD. ... The CDs is in an individual slot, protected and clear sounding. Enjoy this Audio CD performance. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Q: When is a planet not a planet?

Scientists have argued for years over the answer to this question. And central to their debate has been Pluto, the tiny orb circling the Sun at the outermost reaches of our solar. Then on August 24, 2006, a group of astronomers made a big announcement: Pluto could no longer be considered a planet.

This fascinating and breathtakingly illustrated book explains in simple terms how advancements in technology have changed our understanding of the universe--and exactly how and why the number of planets in our solar system went from nine to eight.

A: When it's a dwarf planet.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Unless you have not been reading the papers, you know that there has been a major controversy about whether Pluto should be considered a full-fledged planet or reclassified as a dwarf-planet. In this book Scott recaps a lot of the history of astronomy, including some of the great names and their discoveries—Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler—and notes that until 1781 the theory was that only six planets made up our solar system. That changed with more contemporary astronomers such as Herschel, Piazzi, Galle, Lowell, Tombaugh, and the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the asteroid belt. About two-thirds of the way through the text, Scott mentions Pluto's problems—because of its distance from the sun scientist's did not expect to find that Pluto had a rocky core, its orbit is unlike the other planets both in its shape and plane, and Pluto is very small. Scott mentions Pluto's moon Charon, but according to Ken Croswell's Ten Worlds, Pluto has three moons. She does mention the discovery of Eris and the controversy about it. One of the really interesting chapters is entitled "What is a Planet?" Apparently astronomers around the world had never settled on a definition, but now there are three classes of objects that orbit the sun—planets, dwarf planets, and small solar system bodies. The pictures are excellent and the captions provide additional information, as does the glossary and the page for additional readings and web sites. The detailed index will assist students working on reports.
Kirkus Reviews
Joining the rush of revised views of the solar system for young readers that has been following in the wake of the International Astronomical Union's decision to redefine Pluto (and some other fellow wanderers) as "dwarf planets" rather than the full-fledged sort, this production shows several signs of haste, from a narrative that fails to note that Pluto has more than one moon to a chapter that opens with a full page, uncaptioned photo of a vague smear of light. Scott launches into a clear, simply phrased but standard and mostly off-topic history of astronomy and the discovery of our solar system. Aside from that blur, the accompanying space photos, diagrams, artists' conceptions and art reproductions are up to this author's and publisher's usual high quality, but as more focused, considered treatments of the topic are already available or likely to be coming soon, don't rush to buy this one. (index, reading list) (Nonfiction. 9-11)
From the Publisher
"Through engaging and child-friendly language, Scott discusses the history ... behind the discovery of the nine planets.... A great resource." School Library Journal, Starred

"Beautifully designed.... A good choice for updating astronomy collections." Booklist, ALA

Illustrations include photographs of astronomers and outer space; artists' renderings of simulations, such as a protoplanetary disk forming around a star; and diagrams of various planetary features. A glossary, recommended readings and websites, and an index round out the book.
Horn Book

Horn Book

Color photos and diagrams are both attractive and informative, and slightly oversized fonts makes the subject seem less daunting.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This is a great example to show students the power of research...an outstanding title." LMC January 2008 Library Media Connection

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739363355
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Format: CD
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Elaine Scott, a veteran nonfiction writer, is often praised for making complicated scientific concepts accessible for young readers. She is the author of When Is a Planet Not a Planet? The Story of Pluto, among many other books. She lives in Houston, Texas.

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