Songs For A Plutonian Road Trip

Bjork is one of many artists inspired by the dwarf planet the spacecraft New Horizons is exploring. (AFP/Getty Images)
Bjork is one of many artists inspired by the dwarf planet the spacecraft New Horizons is exploring. (AFP/Getty Images)

The size of a piano. A baby grand piano.

That's the standard description of New Horizons, the spaceship now arriving at the final planet in our solar system. Since its discovery in 1930, and its naming by an 11-year-old British schoolgirl, Venetia Burney, Pluto has inspired countless science fiction writers, comic artists, filmmakers and musicians.

It has also — despite being so small, so far away and nonconfrontational, or possibly because it is all of those things — been at the center of controversy here on Earth. Scientists disagree about whether it is a planet, a dwarf planet or something else, like a plutoid.

Singer-songwriters have strong opinions on the subject. To celebrate the three billion mile journey of New Horizons, we've gathered music about and related to Pluto, in which artists have found poetry in mystery and distance.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright NPR. View this article on npr.org.