Whirlpool Wonders

By Harley White posted 05-27-2022 08:18


Image credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Whirlpool Wonders

The Whirlpool Galaxy of grand-design,
a stately spiral with companion small,
once held to be in gravity’s confine
of greater galaxy’s imposing sprawl,
is shown in sharpest image ever caught
to have essentially been gliding past
for myriads of years, beyond our thought,
behind the Whirlpool’s classic swirling cast.
A cosmic canvas visioned by Van Gogh
limns canopy above from earth below
as though he could intuit fluid flow
of astral turbulence the skies bestow
   in Vincent’s Starry Night’s celestial dream
   with Whirlpool soaring o’er in stellar stream.
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * * *
The poem is in sonnet form…
Some sources of inspiration were the following…
Was Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ inspired by a scientific drawing? (The World)…
The Starry Night, 1889 by Vincent Van Gogh Vincent Van Gogh Org)…
Science and The Starry Night (Redtree Times)…
Info & image ~ Messier 51 (The Whirlpool Galaxy) ~ NASA Hubble…
Info & image ~ Out of this whirl: The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and companion galaxy ~ ESA Hubble…
Info & image ~ M51: Cosmic Whirlpool (APOD)…
Info & image ~ Whirlpool Galaxy (Wikipedia)…
Explanation ~ The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, and NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, and was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Its distance is 31 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy has been extensively observed by professional astronomers, who study it to understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.
Image credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)