Passing Pluto

Charons Crossing aka Pluto

Charon’s Crossing, photo by Andrew McFarlane

Anyone remember Hipstamatic? This is a shot of Pluto in Dave Kirby’s cool installation of the planets along the TART trail in Traverse City (created prior to the de-planetization of Pluto). I don’t usually feature my own photos here, but I had to find something to celebrate NASA’s historic 3,000,000,000 mile journey to Pluto:

After a decade-long journey through our solar system, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto Tuesday, about 7,750 miles above the surface — roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India – making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth.

“I’m delighted at this latest accomplishment by NASA, another first that demonstrates once again how the United States leads the world in space,” said John Holdren, assistant to the President for Science and Technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “New Horizons is the latest in a long line of scientific accomplishments at NASA, including multiple missions orbiting and exploring the surface of Mars in advance of human visits still to come; the remarkable Kepler mission to identify Earth-like planets around stars other than our own; and the DSCOVR satellite that soon will be beaming back images of the whole Earth in near real-time from a vantage point a million miles away. As New Horizons completes its flyby of Pluto and continues deeper into the Kuiper Belt, NASA’s multifaceted journey of discovery continues.”

Read on for more and definitely check out the New Horizons Mission at NASA for lots more about our mission to explore Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt at the furthest reaches of our solar system.

More science on Michigan in Pictures.

When a young man’s fancy turns to …

I guess it really IS spring . . .

I guess it really IS spring…, phoot by Dr. Farnsworth

Thing number 757 about Michigan that I think is cool: you can ride bikes on lakes.

Dale writes:

…AHH Spring, when a young man’s fancy turns towards . . . riding around the lake ON the lake! Still very much frozen solid in western Michigan! Temps tonight well below freezing, a few inches of snow predicted, and people are riding on the ice on fat bikes! Have a good “spring” week Facebook and Flickr friends!

View his photo from Twin Lakes on his map, background big and see more in massive Best of West Lake slideshow.

More winter wallpaper and more biking on Michigan in Pictures.

The Ghost Bike

The Ghost Bike Commemorating Curt Dombecky, 4/23/1948-7/14/2012

The Ghost Bike Commemorating Curt Dombecky, 4/23/1948-7/14/2012, photo by joeldinda

This is a somber reminder as the weather warms and bikers return to the roads that hurrying or texting or lack of attention can result in tragedy. Ghostbikes.org explains:

Ghost Bikes are small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street. A bicycle is painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site, accompanied by a small plaque. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. Currently there are over 500 ghost bikes that have since appeared in over 180 locations throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again — but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.

View Joel’s photo background big and see more in his Grand Ledge slideshow.

The observant will note that Michigan in Pictures featured a photo from Joel just last week, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. Much more from Joel on Michigan in Pictures.