Cosmic Quintet

By Harley White posted 01-13-2023 06:13


Image Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

Cosmic Quintet

In nineteen forty-six was shown
galactic grouping to portray
angelic beings who were prone
to aid the earthlings gone astray.
I speak of ‘It’s a wonderful
Life’, where George Bailey’s anguished pain
from Uncle Billy’s blunderful
bank payment loss was Potter’s gain,
or so it seemed, that is, until—
but lest I might reveal the thread
to those who’ve yet to view it still,
I’ll not disclose what lay ahead.
That galaxy troop assortment
the first compact group ever found
not angelic in comportment
but pushing each other around
in Stephan’s Quintet aptly named
is captured in brilliant detail
with colossal mosaic framed
for the James Webb enormous scale.
Edouard Stephan discovered it
in eighteen seventy-seven,
or them, in Pegasus, starlit
above in celestial heaven.
While called a quintet, only four
are close enough to be engaged
in cosmic dance, for the fifth more
to the foreground and leftmost staged,
is forty million light-years far
to two hundred ninety million
compared, which does not serve to mar
impression to Earth civilian,
although in cosmic terms still near
when likened to those more distant
or billions of light-years from sphere
where humans are now existent.
Thus it’s a misnomer clearly
to label the group a quintet
since biggest, brightest is merely
a bystander within the set.
Plus recently in astro-news
great turbulence was reported
as hydrogen gaseous brews
dramatically cavorted.
NGC seven three one eight
while in fact a galactic pair
has started to merge as the fate
these two starry gatherings share.
Indeed one part of the double,
the site of a huge sonic boom
is currently causing trouble
as invading intruder’s zoom
begets shockwaves so gigantic,
cataclysmic in massive range,
that crashes galactic frantic
have kick-started recycling change…
As in the film aforestated
which never seems to feel dated
nor to my mind overrated
and to the quintet related,
a galaxy each person may
be likened to perhappenstance
upon a stellar stage to play
a part within the grand expanse,
each one a world within a world
with forces attractive profound
within a universe e’er swirled
where still unfathomed realms abound.
This movie strikes a classic chord
with me whate’er the season be,
that living is its own reward
and causes bring effects to see,
allied to ripples in a pond,
depicted in life of Bailey
with linking consequential bond
that is recreated daily.
~ Harley White
* * * * * * * * *
Some sources of inspiration were the following…
Classic film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ features angelic galaxies…
Stephan’s Quintet (NIRCam and MIRI Composite Image… 

ALMA and JWST Reveal Galactic Shock is Shaping Stephan’s Quintet in Mysterious Ways…
Explanation: In Webb’s image of Stephan’s Quintet, we see 5 galaxies, 4 of which interact. (The left galaxy is actually much closer to us than the rest of the group!) These colliding galaxies are pulling and stretching each other in a gravitational dance… This mosaic is Webb’s largest image to date, covering an area of the sky 1/5 of the Moon’s diameter (as seen from Earth). It contains more than 150 million pixels and is constructed from about 1,000 image files.
Image Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI