Celestial Feline Smile

By Harley White posted 07-19-2023 10:51


Credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team Acknowledgement: CASU




Celestial Feline Smile


Might you see a cat smiling down from on high?—

a lot of stargazers do—

like the Cheshire in Carroll’s Wonderland sky,

of orange and reddish hue.


Quixotics examining nebulae hosts

can pareidolia find

from mythic perceptions to phantasmic ghosts

by dreamy fancy designed.


In Monoceros dwelling in Milky Way

that cloud with a feline grin

may have lapped up some cream in cosmic buffet

remindful of felid kin.

The kittenish stars in this nursery vast

create new suns by the score

from clumps of a dusty and gaseous past

elsewhither destined for more.


It’s about fifteen thousand light-years away

from where earthly cats meow,

on star-stippled canvas celestial display

for kitty-lovers to wow.


Just under the nose of the moggy immense

are clustered astrals quite young

which lead to strong winds, radiation intense

to beget stars yet unsung.

Surrounding the image in myriad shades

of purple, orange, and white,

stars glisten stelliferously in brocades

with foreground and background light.

Many an animal fancier spotting

such vision in cyberspace

environed amongst sidereal dotting

of smile on a feline face

might sigh for a moment with fleeting relief

amidst life’s troublesome woes

while beguiled by the cat’s iconic motif

aloft in aerial pose.

~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Some sources of inspiration were the following…


Cheshire Cat (Wikipedia)…


The Sh2-284 nebula, imaged by the VLT Survey Telescope…

‘Smiling cat’ nebula captured in new ESO image…

The ‘Smiling Cat’ Nebula: Sh2-284 | European Southern Observatory…

Explanation: The cloud of orange and red, part of the Sh2-284 nebula, is shown here in spectacular detail using data from the VLT Survey Telescope, hosted by the European Southern Observatory (ESO). This nebula is teeming with young stars, as gas and dust within it clumps together to form new suns. If you take a look at the cloud as a whole, you might be able to make out the face of a cat, smiling down from the sky. The Sh2-284 stellar nursery is a vast region of dust and gas and its brightest part, visible in this image, is about 150 light-years (over 1400 trillion kilometers) across. It’s located some 15,000 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Monoceros. 

Credit: ESO/VPHAS+ team

Acknowledgement: CASU