Cosmic Cascade

By Harley White posted 06-13-2021 08:40


Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully

Cosmic Cascade

‘To see, hung o’er the torrent’s wall,
three thousand feet, that waterfall,
vault sheer, from heavens high, you’d say
the Milky Way’ in bright array
‘was tumbling down, cascading star
on star’, thus glimpsing from afar
the mountain Incense-Burner Peak
ashimmer in sunlit mystique,
to Chinese poet, Li Po, quote,
from olden times of yore remote,
as spake his lyric long ago,
could be describing astral flow
of galaxy in Sextans found
where sparkling stellar realms abound
as though outpouring in a stream.
Blue tinted hues in color scheme
of stunning image on display
the hotter younger stars portray
apparent in its lower part
as shown in Hubble’s astral art.
Some six times hotter than the sun
those azure orbs with heat to shun
create a beautiful blue haze
belying burn of scorching blaze;
instead with cooling water guise,
its look has captured astro-eyes
so star-struck gazers could admire
forget-me-not deluge of fire.
Called UGCA One Nine Three
it’s cataloged for galaxy
that’s viewed in northern hemisphere
of skies from planet earth where we’re
on momentary center stage,
a tiny passage on a page
of ceaseless volume being writ
or improvised telluric skit…
Ah poetry in onward surge,
will verses evermore emerge
from cosmic lyric repertoires
that sing the wonderment of stars?
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * * *
Some sources of inspiration were the following…
‘Gazing At the Cascade on Lu Mountain’
Where crowns a purple haze
Ashimmer in sunlight rays
The hill called Incense-Burner Peak, from far
To see, hung o’er the torrent’s wall,
That waterfall
Vault sheer three thousand feet, you’d say
The Milky Way
Was tumbling from the high heavens, star on star
~ Li Po ~ Chinese lyric poet (701–762)
A Waterfall of Stars...
Explanation ~ The galaxy UGCA 193, seen here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is in the constellation of Sextans (The Sextant). Looking rather like a waterfall, it appears to host many young stars, especially in its lower portion, creating a striking blue haze and the sense that the stars are falling from “above”. The blue color of UGCA 193 indicates the stars that we see are hot— some with temperatures exceeding 6 times that of our Sun. We know that cooler stars appear to our eyes more red, and hotter stars appear more blue. As the mass and surface temperature of a star, and therefore its color, are linked, heavier stars are able to “burn” at higher temperatures resulting in a blue glow from their surface.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully
1 comment



06-13-2021 11:31

Your poem is a glorious description of a stunning object in Space. Thank you for introducing me to Li Po's work, too. Beautiful work!