FROM Mike Brown
Move Over Pluto, Astronomers Say There's a New Planet in Town Ten years ago, astronomer’s shrunk the solar system by removing Pluto from the list of real planets. Now the solar system is getting bigger again. Artistic rendering of the distant view from Planet Nine back towards the sun. The planet is thought to be gaseous, similar to Uranus and Neptune. Image: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC) In the latest issue of Astronomical Journal astronomers from Caltech in Pasadena describe a massive object called Planet Nine, orbiting even farther away from the Sun than the former planet called Pluto. One author of today's article is Mike Brown, who also wrote the book How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming . Caltech professor Mike Brown and assistant professor Konstanin Batygin Photo: Lance Hayashida/Caltech
Pluto Demoted Last year, astronomers at Cal Tech discovered an object they called Xena--even bigger than Pluto, and also orbiting around the Sun. That set off an astronomical controversy. Are there really 10 planets? Today, the International Astronomical Union said, "No." Xena isn't a planet at all, and neither is Pluto. Planetary astronomer Mike Brown led the CalTech team that discovered Xena . (An extended discussion on this subject was originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
Pluto, Planet or Plan Not? Since Pluto's discovery in 1930, there have been nine planets in the solar system, but a year ago, scientists at the California Institute of Technology said there were ten. An object they called Xena turned out to be bigger than Pluto and was also orbiting around the Sun. That set off an astronomical controversy that wasn't resolved until today, thanks to the International Astronomical Union . Planetary scientist Mike Brown led the Cal Tech Team that discovered Xena.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.