Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn't classify Pluto as a planet. But he thinks it's pretty damn important that we got there.
We were at a special "Breakfast at Pluto" event bright and early this morning at the American Museum of Natural History. Co-hosted by Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson (known for the new Cosmos series and general space badassery), Denton Ebel, Chair and Curator of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Carter Emmart, Director of Astrovisualization (the best title ever), we linked up with New Horizons mission control and labs, planetariums and science museums around the world for commentary and "accurate-to-the-second" visualisations of New Horizon's Pluto approach.
"Breakfast at Pluto" united space enthusiasts at the AMNH and worldwide for two hours of outer space geeking out. There was laughter, there were people getting choked up, there were jokes about atmosphere and tidal locks. Here's Dr. Tyson on why reaching Pluto matters and how our hyper-connected web culture makes it an exploration we can all share together:
And in case we ever get there in person, you can leave your hiking boots behind (but bring a warm coat):
Stay tuned for more Pluto news from us, and don't forget the pictures from New Horizons' flyby should be reaching Earth later tonight. We'll be wearing our "It's OK Pluto, I'm Not A Planet Either" t-shirts to join in on "our mission," as astrobiologist David Grinspoon put it. Pluto belongs to all of us.