What The Pluto Flyby Teaches Us About Spirituality

SciSpiritNew Horizons has made it to Pluto. As I’m writing this, we’re still waiting to see the images collected from the closest point on the spacecraft’s trajectory as it swings by Pluto after traveling 3 billion miles. I can’t wait to see them and feel antsy having to wait. But what is a few more hours? The scientists who launched New Horizons in 2006 have had to wait almost ten years to see the pictures of Pluto we are receiving now. What patience and faith that job takes!

Today, I am in total accord with this quote:

Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. ~Carl Sagan

We are witnessing an amazing achievement. The simple logistics of getting scientific equipment so far into space, and having it timed so that it passes within 8,000 miles of a planet* on an orbit that takes 248 Earth years to complete are humbling. Knowing that we are seeing something no human has seen before, unveiling secrets about a planet that is so far away, gives me chills.

Here is the wonder that we can feel when we dive into science. Awe for what is possible. Awe for what is out there. Awe for the beauty of it all. That awe and wonder is at the heart of spiritual experience and always ends with the same thought: Today is a great day to be alive.

To get the latest on New Horizons and what we are learning from this mission, check out NASA’s official website.

*I know, I know. Pluto is officially a dwarf planet. But to me, Pluto is still a regular old planet. Old habits die hard.

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