Steve Spaleta, Space.com producer/editor, contributed this article to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
Space and science have been sprinkled into music through the ages, and there are few individuals who embody that form of artistry as well as "guitar god" Joe Satriani. The influence of space on his art led him to keep an eye on the NASA New Horizons mission, and he said he has been blown away by the imagery returned by that craft. [Listen to Satriani's new song "Shockwave Supernova," set to New Horizons' amazing Pluto imagery.]
"I'm awestruck! Seeing Pluto and Charon like this is like looking way back in time. The images are so very captivating, but a little unnerving, too. It looks so cold and still out there," he told Space.com.
Satriani took time out of the busy promotional tour for his new record "Shockwave Supernova" to recognize the discovery.
"We should all take a few moments to consider what a monumental achievement NASA's New Horizons team has accomplished," Satriani told Space.com. "I'm confident much will be learned from this extraordinary flyby of Pluto, and then maybe more as the probe continues to seek out other dwarf planets. … We need a live Internet video feed!"
If only that were possible.
Musical inspiration comes in many forms, and for Satriani it often emerges from the cosmos.
"As I dream about space exploration, I am often inspired to compose music and write science fiction," he said. But looking to the stars for inspiration does reveal just how little humanity has actually explored of the expanding universe, and it can be frustrating to the imagination, he said. [Joe Satriani Explains His Strange Beautiful (Space) Music ]
"I am so disappointed that we have not yet figured out how to safely traverse our own solar system, let alone the Milky Way," said Satriani. "As a young space enthusiast, I always thought that when I grew up we would all be taking flights into space and back, visiting distant planets, traveling through wormholes and harnessing the power of gravity itself. ... Perhaps the next generation will."
You can follow Steve Spaleta on Twitter and Facebook. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Space.com.