Thursday, July 23, 2009


(Ultraviolet Image of Multiple Comet Impacts on Jupiter from Hubble Telescope)

In lieu of my usual Hubble Telescope image from HubbleSite, today I'm highlighting this week's discovery of an asteroid impact on Jupiter which left a scar the size of the Earth (!). It was spotted by Anthony Wesley of Canberra, Australia, an amateur astronomer using a home-made telescope. This Times Online article is fascinating reporting on the event -- do read all the way through to the end. This Scientific American article is also good reading. Below is the Reuters image of the scar -- there isn't a photo of this event yet available from Hubble.

(July 2009 -- impact scar on Jupiter from asteroid collision)

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

by Mary Oliver, from American Primitive

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