Beautiful Pluto

Will you take a look at that? Isn’t it beautiful? It’s Pluto, a few minutes after New Horizons hurtled by 110 days ago. As it gazed back it took this picture of the crescent of Pluto. You can see the full image here.

The crescent of Pluto. Image courtesy of NASA
The crescent of Pluto. Image courtesy of NASA

Personally I find these kind of crescent images very evocative. I can really visualise the sun and whatever body it happens to be shining on and I can get a great sense of being in space and how these massive objects are all interacting with each other. Just this week I was walking to work one early morning. High in the west I could see the waxing gibbous moon, over my right shoulder was the rising sun. I felt like I was a being on a planet in space, which might sound like a weird thing to say because that’s what we all are all of the time. But how often do we truly appreciate that fact? How often does that occur to us? And how often does this lead us on to think about how we discovered all that we have about the cosmos and what we are yet to know?

I find it genuinely exhilarating and inspiring when I get that feeling. It doesn’t happen all that often but when it does it’s special. Perhaps it’s a similar feeling to what believers have when they’re in church, I wouldn’t know. What I would say is this: remember to look up when you’re on your way to work.

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