Pluto shines as my summer wanes

I gobbled up every tidbit of information and photos as New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto in mid-July.  On July 14, I was glued to the TV as NASA TV played the computer simulation of the spacecraft’s motions in its fly-by.  It’s fascinating to see the spacecraft take pictures of Pluto and its moons.  Here is a speedy recap of the simulation.

Hours later, NASA TV was still running the computer simulation.  By that point, without any landmarks in space, it was hard to tell where New Horizons was in relation to the Pluto system.  Very confusing and disconcerting.  This must be what it’s like to float around in middle of empty space.  If you want to get a sense of the vastness of space in the solar system, check out this model.

The photos from New Horizons are amazing.  Maybe I should buy the coffee table book of Pluto photos when it’s published.  It’s funny that during a time when love is lacking or being misunderstood in this world, Pluto shows that it has a “heart.”

Pluto proudly shows its heart.  (Courtesy of NASA/APL/SwRI)
Pluto proudly shows its heart. (Courtesy of NASA/APL/SwRI)

Hours later, I was chatting with my friend Patrick to set up a day to hang out.  He asked how long I was town.  I replied: “About a month.”

Wait a second, I thought.  Did I say a month?  Have two months of my summer vacation disappeared just like that?  Where has it gone?  What have I been doing?

I’m still short of the goals I set for myself before leaving Boston.  I haven’t taken a dining etiquette class or pared back my stuff.  No longer will it be one lazy summer day after another.  I will be gearing up to return to the seminary.

Pluto shined before the cameras, but it was my summertime that flew right by me.

Crunch time.

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