Heroes

The man who discovered Pluto is about to become the first person to visit it.

We have visited all the planets of solar system and found worlds orbiting distant stars. Now we're about to explore ... Pluto? If you find yourself asking, "So what?" you're not alone. But you might be surprised by the answer.

The Search Begins

In 1929, a young researcher named Clyde Tombaugh was handed a thankless, seemingly impossible task.

His bosses at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, gave him a series of nearly identical pictures of the same part of the night sky taken a few days apart and asked him to search, with his naked eyes, for a speck of light that moved like a planet. These were not pretty photos, and they barely changed from day to day. So we can only imagine how daunting this assignment must have felt for the young Tombaugh. Yet he took it graciously and spent over a year comparing photographs, two by two, using only an antiquated mechanical device called a blink comparator, his bare eyes, and his knowledge of planetary movement.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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