Shivu, the brave son of Baahubali, was trying ceaselessly to conquer the sky-high waterfall – he was curious about what lay above. This Baahubali was not the nonviolent brother of Bharat who inspired Jain traditions with his renunciation of worldly pleasure and by seeking love for all, human and other living beings. He was valiant warrior prince in the new blockbuster Telugu movie ‘Baahubali’, a courageous fictional epic drama.
Shivu went uphill enamoured of his bewitching damsel in white, but later destined to play the role of a saviour of the subjects like his legendary father. The creative imagination went far, though slow, to establish a new Indian mould to such genre of cinema.
At the same time, a leader who drives the current world view in cosmic sciences, Prof. Stephen Hawking, sat still; and through his machine, spoke to the world of his view of Pluto flyby and its relevance to humankind to understand the solar system better. It was when the world’s scientific community and enthusiastic people celebrated after the announcement and the release of animated visuals by NASA.
At around twenty-six thousand light years away from the center of the Milky Way, the robotic New Horizons powered by decaying Plutonium has made its move through the mystic Kuiper belt, passing by the bulging dwarf planet Pluto, the ninth planet seen at so close distance after nine years of the mission. Well, it’s an obsolete designation for Pluto; but it lost the planethood only after the launch of the probe from Cape Canaveral in 2006. On the other hand, the ashes of Clyde W. Tombaugh, lying in the upper deck of the probe, remind of the discovery of this dwarf planet in 1930, and how apt is the nomenclature of the source of nuclear power that drives the New Horizons away from us without any possibility of adequate support from solar power – in our quest to know better about the outer solar region. Plutonium, though synthesized a decade later, has proved to be the right namesake this week – unlike what it resulted in during 1945 nuclear bombing in two Japanese cities.
It is interesting to see the probe vehicle being guided through many solar objects without being collided with. In fact, we came to know about some new objects in the belt and new satellites of Pluto only after the launch of the vehicle. It’s a technological achievement to skip collisions with these objects, spread over far larger space for a probe to be diverted against any impending gravitational pull, if encountered, and distances to be covered within short span of time for a speeding vehicle like this one.
It is the quest to know matter and happenings around us better, and to seek to understand about our place in the grand design. It’s unlike the yearning for love by Shivu. It’s the cooperative craving for knowledge by sneaking out of solar gravity, and for comprehending the Space better.