John Davies

Beyond Pluto

In this book John Davies describes the search for Kuiper Belt Objects, from the early days when a few dedicated astronomers struggled to find these elusive objects, to the successes of 1990's when it became a hot topic. Davies also presents us with the model of how our solar system is presently understood to have been created, and why KBOs may represent the most pristine remnants from that event. The book is easy to follow and will appeal both for the human story, and for the science generated by the birth of this new area of study.

This is a new field of study, and many controversies and arguments are raised in the book, not the least of which is the thorny issue of naming. Should they be called Edgeworth-Kuiper Objects? Is Pluto a KBO (or EKO) rather than a planet? The book also goes into a great deal of fascinating detail about the orbital dynamics of KBOs; including how orbital resonances can propel them further into the solar system. Note that the book was written during 2000, and inevitably the pace of change is extremely rapid in this area, so for more up to date information you would need to consult the scientific literature

Product Description
Exactly what is beyond Pluto? Why, in the last ten years, has the Solar System more than doubled in size? For the first time, in almost two centuries, an entirely new population of planetary objects has been found that may well explain these two questions. This newly discovered realm of minor planets, now known as the "Kuiper Belt," has reconceptualized our understanding of how the Solar System was formed and has finally given ontological explanations for the enigmatic outer planet Pluto. Beyond Pluto is the fascinating story of how a group of theoretical physicists decided that there must be a population of unknown bodies beyond Pluto and how a small band of astronomers set out to find them. Acclaimed scientist John K. Davies recounts how they predicted the existence of these planetary bodies, how they were eventually discovered, and how Pluto was named. In addition, Davies provides biographies of the astronomers who discovered these new worlds and information on the telescopes they used. John K. Davies is a support scientist for the UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) atop the dormant volcano Mauna Kea in Hawaii. He holds PhDs in chemistry and astronomy, discovered six comets while teaching at Leicester University in the UK, and was a member of the ISO-CAM team at the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has contributed to magazines such as Astronomy, New Scientist, Sky & Telescope, and Space. In 2000, a small main asteroid belt was named Johndavies in recognition of his numerous contributions to astronomy.