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
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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