• Pluto – passage to you!

    This is Pluto. This planet (yes, but it’s semantics) contains secrets to the history of the Solar System, including lessons on our home planet. We just flew past this world, surveying it with a robotic spacecraft billions of miles from Earth. We’re going to be analyzing that data over the coming months and years, to unravel that history. But for now, we get to bask in its beauty, as our scouting of our home Solar System comes towards a close.

    A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on Jul 14, 2015 at 4:00am PDT

    Today, as with many days of humanity’s exploration of the Universe, I’m reminded of a passage from Walt Whitman’s “Passage to India.”

    O sun and moon and all you stars! Sirius and Jupiter!
    Passage to you!

    Passage, immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins!
    Away O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!

    Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
    Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
    Have we not grovel’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
    Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?
    Sail forth—steer for the deep waters only,
    Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,
    For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
    And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

    O my brave soul!
    O farther farther sail!
    O daring joy, but safe! are they not all the seas of God?
    O farther, farther, farther sail!