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Caltech professor who killed Pluto wins $1M Astrophysics prize

Farthest Object In Solar System Discovered

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In this Caltech handout, a rendering of the farthest object in our solar system, Sedna, is seen. Sedna is a mysterious planet-like body three times farther from Earth than Pluto. NASA held a news conference March 15, 2004 to detail the findings by a team of astronomers at Caltech led by Dr. Mike Brown.

The prestigious, $1 million Kavli Prize in Astrophysics has been co-awarded to Mike Brown, the Caltech professor and astronomer known across the galaxy as the man who killed Pluto.

Brown discovered the Kuiper-belt body at the edge of the solar system more massive than Pluto, resulting in the former planet's demotion to "dwarf planet," and a "revised the definition of our solar system," notes the Pasadena Star-News

"The un-naming of Pluto got the the attention of the larger public and he's now a well-known person not only in this country but all over the world," said Caltech President Jean-Lou Chameau. "Pluto made his work very understandable beyond the scientific community," he told the newspaper.

Brown will share the prize with co-winners David Jewitt of UCLA and Jane Luu of MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. The three were recognized for advancing the understanding of our planetary system.

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