Galactic Interplay

By Harley White posted 05-16-2022 08:24


Arp 147 (also known as IC 298) is an interacting pair of ring galaxies.

Galactic Interplay
In huge encounter underway
the Hubble’s chosen to survey
a ‘perfect ten’ is on display.
This great galactic happenstance
portrayed by telescopic glance
midst vast expanse of cosmic dance
where left would show the ‘number one’
is for its splendor next to none
in imagery of sights to stun.
The ‘zero ring’ set on the right
could be a crown that’s taken flight
with jewels sapphirine alight,
some thirty thousand light-years wide
that ring of cosmic regal pride.
The system whole from side to side
one hundred fifteen thousand in
light-years across both kith and kin
of ‘ten’, were we to take a spin,
would measure, in galactic reach,
and twenty-one from each to each
if calculating partners’ breach.
Appearing nearly edge-on to
our own telluric point of view
with finite sight we might construe
a figure ‘one’ from island world
as disk-shaped galaxy unfurled,
beside celestial ring o’er swirled
at left of it, completing ‘ten’
through aid of Hubble’s distant ken
extending vision far, amen,
beyond myopic mortal scope
wherewith most humans blindly grope
while looking heavenward for hope
in lieu of deep within, alas,
to source enlightened looking glass
which outward shows what comes to pass
as well, say I with wistful sigh…
Still, gazing at the ceaseless sky
makes wonderment take wing and fly.
The star formation in the ring
is said to be quite staggering,
a grand creative stellar fling.
Four hundred million plus light-years
it lies from earthly dwelling spheres,
where Man is mired in tears and fears
with cheers and laughter now and then
or urges of the poet’s pen
abetted by a warbling wren.
Returning to galactic pair
the main ring scientists declare
has nine bright X-ray sources there,
immense in mass, which black holes are,
those spatial oddities bizarre
occurring from collapsing star,
with each from ten to twenty times
the Sun, old Sol, which daily climbs
the firmament till nightfall chimes.
And likewise in the smaller mate
might be another, so they state,
berserk in gravitation fate.
But what are black holes all about?
There’s more than ‘meets the eye’ no doubt.
Could space be turning inside out?
Such mysteries of cosmic craft
albeit Hubble photographed
could make mere mortal minds go daft.
With Sara Teasdale I agree,
to cite some lines of poetry
that capture starry-eyed esprit.
In lyric verse of ‘Stars’, said she,
‘I know I am honored to be
witness of so much majesty.’
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * *
Some sources of inspiration were the following…
Poem “Stars”, by Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)
Image and info ~ Arp 147 (Wikipedia)…
Explanation: Arp 147 (also known as IC 298) is an interacting pair of ring galaxies. It lies 430 million to 440 million light years away in the constellation Cetus and does not appear to be part of any significant galaxy group. The system was originally discovered in 1893 by Stephane Javelle and is listed in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies… The two interacting galaxies happen to be oriented so that they appear to outline the number 10 on the sky. The left-most galaxy, or the “one” in this image, is relatively undisturbed, but the right-most galaxy, the “zero” of the pair, exhibits a clumpy, blue ring of intense star formation.
Image credit: NASA, ESA and M. Livio (STScI)