Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mysteries of Pluto

For most of my homeschool adventures or discoveries, I have my good friend Mary to thank. And lately, she has been sharing all kinds of new discoveries with me! Most recently,  she gave me information about the New Horizons probe that has been on mission to take pictures of & gather data about Pluto! Seriously, I do not know what I would do without her!!

In case you haven't seen or heard, this New Horizons probe, sent by NASA, has been en route to Pluto for almost 10 years. 10 YEARS! Here is a link to a video that will give you a little more information on that...

I love seeing people who have the kind of vision & determination to plan out such a long-term goal. I suppose homeschooling is also a long-term goal, which explains why it's so difficult for me to stay focused, and grounded, trusting in this adventure! It's also very pivotal, but back to Pluto...

Here is a link to some of the first pictures & information they have released about it.

The space probe cost over $700 million and arrived on July 14th, though not landing, just cruising by & gathering as much data as possible.

I'm not sure what it is that intrigues me so much. I don't believe in life, or intelligence as we know it, on another planet. I don't even think scientifically we are ever likely to find another planet that can support plant-life or animal-life... and this does not touch on the theological implications of believing there could be other planets with people or animals... it's just not something I think is likely and I don't plan to waste my time considering it really. So, my fascination with Pluto has nothing to do with that. But for some reason, I want to be there!

After reading C.S. Lewis' book "Out of the Silent Planet" I have a little more curiosity about what other planets are like. Just standing on land that is totally new, unfamiliar & who knows what else would be amazing. It also baffles me that God created that little (dwarf) planet, 3 billion miles away, and while we are just seeing what it really looks like for the first time, He already knows all those details. He knows every detail, and has allowed us this progress to see more of the wonder of His mind. Why other planets? Why moons? Why the entire solar system, galaxy & beyond? How far does this emptiness go? It's just mind boggling.

I also think it's nice to think about things we cannot comprehend. To be able to consider the magnitude of the universe & forget suffering, hardship, strife & angst for a little bit is a gift. If I had the time, I'd let my mind wander ever further into thinking about what it will be like to land my feet in Heaven for the first time. In another of C.S. Lewis' books, he talks about Heaven being more real than ourselves... I often forget that it'll be the same me, but the perfected me, that will experience all that wonder & permanence... not an imaginary, dream-land type of version of myself. I will get to witness it all first-hand. For sure. Promised & sealed, done deal! Now that trumps Pluto for sure. But in the meantime, I'm going to look several times a day for new photos from Pluto, and think about the far reaches of space & let it sink in how far-reaching God really is. Or at least try, and I'll get as far as my little brain will let me :)

Here are a few photos I've saved... enjoy!

The last image we had of Pluto & her biggest moon.

This is Jupiter & 1 of her 67 moons, taken by New Horizons on the way out to Pluto.