Monday, July 20, 2015

New Horizons/Pluto

I think that everyone is absolutely fascinated, stunned and amazed by the images and information coming from the New Horizons flyby of Pluto.  It's certainly a fantastic achievement and all kudos to the team whose hard work and perseverance made this happen.

One of the first things which struck me was the name of the mission - New Horizons. That just also happens to be the name of a Moody Blues song as well!  I was wondering if the name was inspired by the song and unfortunately it wasn't.  Here is the story of how the mission got its name  - told by Alan Stern himself.  Still, the song (though not one of my favorite Moody songs) has that sort of exploratory vibe to it.

So here are some lines inspired by the Mission and a bit by that Moodies song:

New Horizons

Where is this place so far away
Beyond childlike gazes to the sky
Where constellations wait to be deciphered
And phases of the Moon pass by?
What will be found by this flying explorer,
Powered as if by will, dreams,
Prayers, and work through years
And billions of miles?
Where are we bound
On this journey of discovery,
Seeking a clear focus
On a world best seen before as merely a smudge?
What of this enigmatic object
That calls to us with a strange and cosmic magnetism
Which propels us, no, compels us
To learn more about our neighborhood?
So a mission is sent soaring still faster and farther,
With a discoverer's ashes,
The names of 435,000 Earth inhabitants on CD,
And seven more mementos (think of the total number)
Accompanying the scientific instrumentation
To New Horizons.

('my original graphic')

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