Saturday, April 24, 2010

A News Sonnet A Day for April 2010: 24

Carina Nebula, dubbed "Mystic Mountain," is 7,500 light-years away. Here, new stars are being born.

I've set myself a goal for National Poetry Month this year: Compose a sonnet based on a science-themed news story each day.

Today's installment takes its cue from the 20th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, celebrated at NASA and elsewhere.

Going the Distance

Since Hubble launched this day, two decades past,
Astronomy has never been the same.
Its images have left the world aghast --
For more than half a million pictures came

From thirty-thousand-plus celestial sites.
In ultraviolet to near-infrared,
This telescope has redefined our nights,
Three-hundred-sixty miles above our heads.

Four service missions gave its eye a gaze
A hundred times more keen than when it launched,
Left far behind its faulty mirror days
When Hubble's data flow was nearly stanched.

In orbit with its soul-transforming stare,
It boosts our inner universe Out There.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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