Julius Kent is celebrated astronomer who is the director of the New York Science Center and is frequently on TV. He is one of Holmes' "Irregulars" who he employs on cases requiring expertise in astronomy. Holmes uses him reluctantly as he feels inadequate in Kent's presence.
Kent and Holmes went to boarding school together and Kent still reminds Holmes of a mistake he made when he was eight, namely that he thought the Sun revolved around the Earth. Kent once helped Holmes with a break-in by timing it to coincide with a solar flare. The radio interference enabled Holmes to avoid detection.
|After a Wall Street quantitative analyst, Russell Cole, is murdered in his condo, Detective Bell, Holmes and Watson discover he had published a paper that posited that the methods used to calculate which asteroids are a threat to Earth were incorrect. At the New York Science Museum, Holmes and Watson are met by Kent who is charming and pokes fun at Holmes, which he doesn't take well. He explains that an asteroid's location and size is determined by the heat it generates. Cole proposed that not taking into account what the asteroid is made of, such a shiny rare metals, results in the asteroid sizes, and their potential threat to the Earth, being measured wrong. Kent indicates that Cole's paper was poorly written and that it will take months to determine its validity. Because of the paper, NASA cancelled a $500M project for an infrared telescope, called Piazzi, and that companies who depended on such projects might be behind Cole's murder. Later, Cole uses his celebrity status to get Holmes a meeting with Congresswoman Salazar. ("Henny Penny the Sky Is Falling")
- Kent making fun of an 8 year old Holmes believing the Sun revolves around the Earth is a reference to Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet in which Holmes tells Watson that such knowledge makes no difference in the work he does.
- Kent calls Cole's murderer, Grant Huber, to the museum under the pretence of wanting to meet with him. Holmes and Watson surprise Huber and show him evidence that he killed Cole.