Triple Galactic Collision

By Harley White posted 03-07-2022 07:12


Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Keel, Dark Energy Survey, DOE, FNAL, DECam, CTIO, NOIRLab/NSF/AURA, SDSS

Triple Galactic Collision
A cosmic merger mammoth out in space
is taking place in Cancer or the Crab,
where three’s a crowd in tangled interface
of crashing neighbor galaxies, smack-dab
in tug-of-war chaotic so it seems
with gravitational one-upmanship
at play, as great galactical regimes
draw nearer to each other, thus to rip
apart the stellar realms next door to them,
a typical galactic stratagem.
And yet creation cosmic there may stem
from vast collisions, merging new pro tem,
with star formation those impacts foretell,
unlike our wars from spats ad hominem
of mass destruction midst the tolling bell.
Such mayhem here on earth we’d but condemn.
This tumult is befalling far above,
too far to breach upon our mortal fears
on world with end, at far-off distance of
six hundred eighty-one million light-years.
IC Two Four Three One is the label
for clash ongoing of galactic wills
that’s following mind-boggling timetable
and granting us stargazers Hubble thrills.
As gas from threesome gathers and collides,
at center of the galaxies then joined
a huge sea of material betides,
assembled from the masses thus purloined.
While many orbit paths may deviate,
the extant stars will mostly stay intact,
as shocks the spaces twixt alleviate,
despite the astro-drama they enact.
Still I cannot imagine that to be
when thoughts anthropomorphic I ascribe
to what appears the bellicosity
of star groups and galactic diatribe
might launch against the astral turfs’ to-dos
bespeaking stellar evolution grand,
in lieu of wars to autocrats amuse
or sate their quenchless thirst to seize more land,
as if those cosmic urges were the same
or gravitation surges were to blame
for mortal armaments that kill and maim.
Oh stars, you put humanity to shame!
These mergers are in universe widespread
and even galaxies like Milky Way
may owe their stretches to star schemes thus wed
akin to that vast pas de trois ballet...
Said Siegfried Sassoon, in ‘Everyone Sang’,
‘As birds, imprisoned, in freedom must find’
at closure of war weapons ceaseless bang
‘hearts shaken with tears’ leave horror behind.
How fragile life is and how fast it fleets!
How many risings more of sun and moon
remain ‘to our world and her fading sweets’?
When will Mankind dance to another tune?
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * *
Some sources of inspiration were the following…
Quote from ‘Sonnet XIX’, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)…
Quotes from ‘Everyone Sang’, by Siegfried Sassoon (1919)…
Hubble Observes Triple Galaxy Merger: IC 2431…
Image explanation: The mass of dust and bright swirls of stars in this image are the distant galaxy merger IC 2431, which lies 681 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured what appears to be a triple galaxy merger in progress, as well as a tumultuous mixture of star formation and tidal distortions caused by the gravitational interactions of this galactic trio. The center of this image is obscured by a thick cloud of dust — though light from a background galaxy can be seen piercing its outer extremities.
 Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Keel, Dark Energy Survey, DOE, FNAL, DECam, CTIO, NOIRLab/NSF/AURA, SDSS