Thursday, October 8, 2009


(New images from the rejuvenated Hubble, including a butterfly nebula, multi-wavelength pictures of far-flung galaxies, a densel-packed star cluster, and a "pillar of creation". Click on image to enlarge and examine more closely.)

Every Thursday, I post a very large photograph of some corner of space captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and available online from the picture album at HubbleSite.

With the recent extremely successful in-space repair of the 19-year-old Hubble telescope, some of the Early Release Observations are blowing folks away. NASA's press release states "Topping the list of exciting new views are colorful multi-wavelength pictures of far-flung galaxies, a densely packed star cluster, an eerie 'pillar of creation,' and a 'butterfly' nebula.'"


The clouds and the stars didn't wage this war
the brooks gave no information
if the mountains spewed stones of fire into the river
it was not taking sides
the raindrop faintly swaying under the leaf
had no political opinions

and if there were a house
filled with backed-up raw sewage
or poisoned those who lived there
with slow fumes, over years
the houses were not at war
nor did the tinned up buildings

intend to refuse shelter
to homeless old women and roaming children
they had no policy to keep from roaming
or dying, no, cities were not the problem
the bridges were non-partisan
the freeways burned, but not with hatred

Even miles of barbed-wire
stretched around crouching temporary huts
designed to keep the unwanted
at a safe distance, out of sight
even the boards, that had to absorb
year upon year, so many human sounds

so many depths of vomit, tears slow-soaking blood
had not offered themselves for this
The trees didn't volunteer to be cut into boards
nor the thorns for tearing flesh
Look around at all of it

and ask whose signature
is stamped on the orders, traced
in the corner of the building plans
Ask where the illiterate, big-bellied
women were, the drunks and the crazies,
the ones you fear most of all: ask where you were.

~~Adrienne Rich


Blue said...

Am I the only one here who sees, in the "Pillar of Creation", a headless woman throwing a football to an elephant that's wearing goggles? I am? Huh.

Blue said...

Ooh, Ooh, I was wrong! It's an elephant seal flipping somebody off, and it's wearing a hat shaped like a silverback gorilla whose frustrated mother is about to bonk him on the head.

Blue said...

I love Hubble Thursday.

I'm finished now.

Maggie Jochild said...

I just can't get over that freakin' butterfly...

Blue said...

Seriously. Who made that shit, anyway?

Maggie Jochild said...

Martha Stewart or Rosie O'Donnell, maybe?

Acilius said...

Great juxtaposition of pictures and poem. I'm worried about the militarization of space, too.