Hate Mail From Third Graders

  • By Susan K. Lewis
  • Posted 01.01.10
  • NOVA

"It's not easy being a public enemy," writes Neil deGrasse Tyson in his book The Pluto Files. When Neil's Hayden Planetarium grouped Pluto not among the planets but rather with icy comets in the Kuiper Belt, he heard from thousands of outraged Pluto defenders. Here, peruse letters schoolkids sent Neil and see how their tone shifted as the public came to accept Pluto's fall from planethood.

Launch Interactive Printable Version

See what some outraged but loving kids had to say to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about "demoting" Pluto.

Note: The correspondence in this slide show originally appeared in The Pluto Files (Norton, 2009).



(Will Galmot letter and drawing)
Courtesy Will Galmot
(Madeline Trost letter)
Courtesy Madeline Trost
(Emerson York letter)
Courtesy Emerson York
(Taylor Williams letter)
Courtesy Taylor Williams
(Siddiq Canty letter)
Courtesy Siddiq Canty

Related Links

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  • In Defense of Pluto

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  • The Pluto Files

    Take a cross-country journey with Neil deGrasse Tyson to explore the rise and fall of America's favorite planet.

  • My Dad Discovered Pluto

    How did Clyde Tombaugh go from baling hay to finding Pluto? See family photos and hear his son Alden reflect.


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