• Upcoming appearances
  • Lectures online
  • Interviews
  • Press highlights

  • Upcoming appearances

    I am currently taking a hiatus from speaking engagements to concentrate on my online class. Please check again later!

    Lectures online

    • The Dwarf Planets of the Outer Solar System, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 4/12/2007

      Technical Lecture. The past few years have seen an explosion in the discoveries of Pluto- and near Pluto-sized bodies in the outer solar system, giving rise to a new classification of "dwarf planets." Like Pluto, each of these largest dwarf planets has a unique story to tell about the history and evolution of the solar system. I'll discuss the discoveries of these objects and the new views of giant collisions, stellar encounters, and planetary rearrangement that we are gaining from their study.

    • Defining Planets, Jet Propulsion Lab, 2/22/2007

      In this lecture, Michael Brown discusses the controversy over Pluto's demotion to a "dwarf planet" and what that means for our scientific understanding of the solar system. Transcipt only.

    • Pluto, Eris, and the Dwarf Planets of the Outer Solar System, Boston Museum of Science, 4/11/2007

      Even after Pluto was discovered in 1930, astronomers continued their search for an elusive tenth planet. Decades of exploration coupled with advances in technology led to the discovery of icy objects more distant and sometimes even larger than Pluto. What are these objects that dwell in the outer solar system? How do they compare to Pluto?

    • Beyond Pluto: Discovery of the 10th Planet, Caltech Watson Lecture, 2/22/2006

      In a Watson lecture, Mike Brown, professor of planetary astronomy at Caltech, discussed his and his colleagues' discovery of 2003 UB313, the largest object found in orbit around the sun since the discovery of Nepture in 1846, and the putative 10th planet. In addition, he talked about what constitutes a planet, why the question of planethood is difficult, and what he thinks the answer should be. 56 minute videocast.

    • Quaoar & the Edge of the Solar System, Caltech Watson Lecture, 5/21/2003

      Michael E. Brown, associate professor of planetary astronomy at Caltech, discusses how the solar system has slowly receded, first with the discovery of Uranus, then Neptune and Pluto. In the past decade, astronomers have realized that even Pluto is not the true edge of the solar system. This is addressed, along with a glimpse into the most recent research into the exploration of the outer solar system. 59 minute videocast.

    Interviews and conversations

    • Michelin Lecture featuring James Cameron and Mike Brown, 5/4/2010 Director James Cameron and Caltech astronomer Mike Brown discuss their shared passion for exploration, the difference between science and exploration, and the values of human and robotic exploration in space and the ocean.
    • Discovery News, 11/4/2009 Where are you hiding Planet X, Dr. Brown?
    • NOVA Now 8/20/2007. Mike Brown & Neil deGrasse Tyson debate planets.
    • Earth & Sky 6/20/2007. Program about the measurement of the mass of Eris.
    • Planetary Radio 8/26/2006. Extended interview about dwarf planets.
    • NPR science Friday 8/18/2006. Interview about the proposals to change Pluto's planetary status.
    • KALW Radio, San Francisco, 2/13/2006 Interview with call-in questions.
    • NOVA Science Now 1/10/2006 Video clips from the episode on the "10th Planet"
    • Planetary Radio 8/15/2005. Extended interview about the discovery of the 10th planet.
    • Planetary Radio 3/22/2004. Extended interview about the discovery of Sedna.
    • NPR science Friday 3/19/2004. Interview about the discovery of Sedna.

    • A conversation between Mike Brown and Julia Sweeney at the Hammer Museum, 6/18/2007:

      (From the promotional material)
      Michael Brown is a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology. He is best known for his discovery of Eris, the largest object found in the solar system in 150 years, which led to the debate and eventual demotion of Pluto from a "real" to a dwarf planet. In 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" as well as one of Los Angeles Magazine's "Most Powerful Angelenos."

      Comedienne Julia Sweeney is best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, especially as the androgynous character 'Pat." Her 1996 one-woman monologue, God Said, Ha!, addressed her experience of surviving cancer. More recently she has written and performed In the Family Way and Letting Go of God, the latter explaining her conversion to atheism.

      This ongoing series pairs creative thinkers from a range of disciplines for engaging, provocative discussions on culture, science, and the arts.

      The audiocast of this on-stage conversation lasts approximately one hour.

    • Words Matter Symposium

      4th Annual Science Writing Symposium 4/5/2006
      This symposium brought together science writers and a scientist to address the challenges of communicating technical information to general audiences. Featured were Mike Brown, professor of planetary astronomy, Caltech; Bruce Lewenstein, associate professor of science communication, Cornell University; and Joe Palca, a science correspondent for NPR and the occasional host of its "Talk of the Nation Science Friday." 89 minute videocast.

    Press highlights

    • 10 Planets? Why not 11?

      New York Times, August 23, 2005, Kenneth Chang. Selected for Best Science Writing 2006.
      A profile of Mike Brown shortly after the discovery of Eris.

    • Today's Horoscope: Now Unsure

      New York Times Sunday Style, August 28, 2005, Stephanie Rosenbloom.
      An amusing look at the astrological implications of the discovery of 2003 UB313/Eris.

    • A Dwarf Planet Gets a Name: Eris

      New York Times, September 14, 2006, Kenneth Chang.
      A discussion of the goddess of discord and strife.

    • War of the Worlds

      New York Times, Opinion Page, August 16, 2006, Mike Brown.
      My op-ed piece on the impending vote about Pluto and 2003 UB313.

    • The Tenth Planet

      The New Yorker, July 24, 2006, Alec Wilkinson.
      An extended profile of Mike Brown and the discovery of 2003 UB313 written shortly before the IAU vote on dwarf planets.

    • Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People of 2006

      Time Magazine, April 30, 2006, Michael D. Lemonick.
      Includes a rather frightening looking illustration of me holding a planet.

    • Meet the New Planets

      Time Magazine, October 16, 2006, Michael D. Lemonick.
      A discussion of the discovery of 2003 UB313/Xena/Eris.

    • The Man Who Finds Planets

      Discover Magazine, cover story, June 2006, Cal Fussman.
      The story of the discovery of 2003 UB313.

    • Beyond Pluto

      Discover Magazine, cover story, May 2004, Kathy Svitil.
      A discussion of the discovery of Sedna and the implications for the outer solar system.

    • Sexiest Geeks of 2006

      Wired Online, December 13, 2006.
      It's too late to vote in the poll by now, but it still amuses my wife.