Friday, April 30, 2010

A News Sonnet A Day for April 2010: 30

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 closes out the month and takes its cue from "Asteroid ice hints at rocky start to life on Earth" by Zeeya Merali at Nature and "Water Discovered on an Asteroid -- A First" by Brian Handwerk at National Geographic.

Reflections on 24-Themis

Our water is believed to come from space.
Some theorize that comets were employed
To give the molten Earth a bright blue face.
Now frost's been found upon an asteroid

Once thought too dry to carry surface ice.
Perhaps its vapors rose from deep below
And then condensed. Our guesses must suffice.
This rock has carbon molecules to show --

The elements for life to go ahead.
No asteroid had shown such signs before.
The data reaching Earth in infra-red
Are challenging assumptions at their core

And given us more questions to be solved
Of how our Solar System has evolved.

(I wanted to complete this series on a positive note, given the heartbreak of the Gulf oil slick -- Discovery News satellite photos and graphs of the spill here.)

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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