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Friday, 23 October 2009

De Ira Dei


File:NGC7293 (2004).jpg

Anger may be a necessary element in the character of God.

In fact given what is to be looked upon
In the mirror of an ever more exposed creation

With an eye that shines through the hole
In the ozone, clouded by thawing tears, perhaps

It is difficult not to make out iris and pupil in
The envelope of gas expelled by a dying star.

File:160658main2 OZONE large 350.png

"The Eye of God": Helix nebula, NGC 7293, a gaseous envelope expelled by a dying star
: Hubble Space Telescope image by NASA, ESA, C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University), 2004
Largest Antarctic ozone hole ever observed, Sept. 24, 2007 (area 11.4 million square miles)
: image by NASA


Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful picture. You do have a collection of such lovelies, which I can admire along with your words.And Thomas yes, I am thinking, your words written very much akin to my own thinking.
I am liking muchly, how each line kinda 'piggy-backs' on the other.
'clouded by thawing tears' Just those few words do it for me.

TC said...


Ah, now you have caught me out with my piggy-backing.

I shall henceforth give up attempting to conceal my secrets from you!

Elmo St. Rose said...

The shrouds of Turin are everywhere. Eyes are precious
you only have two of them.
Ozone is a free radical.
Anti-oxidants help some, but there
is a new organization forming, it's
called "Poets against Entropy"
They haven't got a chance but it'll
be an interesting fight.

TC said...

The startling ocular resemblance in the two images can only be an accident... if it's an accident.

Awesome. But don't believe everything you read on the internet.

Your life will never again be the same. You must share this e-mail.

(Excuse the chatroom cut-ups...)

Remembering tonight the NFL replacement player whose back-of-the-shirt name read: "He Hate Me".

Maybe, with that big high calibre eyeball, it might not be such a good idea after all for God to "have your back"?

Lally said...

Amazing. And brilliant (as the Irish say) of you to connect the dots so seemingly effortlessly.

. said...

The images in this will stay with me.


Anonymous said...

I am wandering, it does very much look like a supernova's remnants to my untrained eyes. Michel Casse calls them our grand mothers because it is from the orange, yellow purplish dust that solar systems like ours are formed. The cataclysmic death of supernovas release more light in an instant than entire galaxies.

TC said...

Michael, Leigh,

Thanks for sharing my suspended disbelief.


The Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the Helix Nebula by a team of astronomers and physicists from Vanderbilt is the subject of an article, "Unraveling the Helix Nebula : Its Structure and Knots" (Astronomical Journal 128.5).

From the Abstract of that article:

"Through Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging of the inner part of the main ring of the Helix Nebula, together with CTIO 4 m images of the fainter outer parts, we have a view of unprecedented quality of the nearest bright planetary nebula. These images have allowed us to determine that the main ring of the nebula is composed of an inner disk of about 499" diameter (0.52 pc) surrounded by an outer ring (in reality a torus) of 742" diameter (0.77 pc) whose plane is highly inclined to the plane of the disk. This outer ring is surrounded by an outermost ring of 1500" (1.76 pc) diameter, which is flattened on the side colliding with the ambient interstellar medium. The inner disk has an extended distribution of low-density gas along its rotational axis of symmetry, and the disk is optically thick to ionizing radiation, as is the outer ring. Published radial velocities of the knots provide support for the two-component structure of the main ring of the nebula and for the idea that the knots found there are expanding along with the nebular material from which they recently originated. These velocities indicate a spatial expansion velocity of the inner disk of 40 and 32 km s-1 for the outer ring, which yields expansion ages of 6560 and 12,100 yr, respectively. The outermost ring may be partially ionized through scattered recombination continuum from the inner parts of the nebula, but shocks certainly are occurring in it. This outermost ring probably represents a third period of mass loss by the central star. There is one compact, outer object that is unexplained, showing shock structures indicating a different orientation of the gas flow from that of the nebula. There is a change in the morphology of the knots as a function of the distance from the local ionization front. This supports a scenario in which the knots are formed in or near the ionization front and are then sculpted by the stellar radiation from the central star as the ionization front advances beyond them."

Anonymous said...

I cannot cease to be astounded by the fact that we humans have torn everything to pieces in the last 50 or 60 years...

TC said...

... while that dying star has filled that time by spilling its gases farther and farther out into the universe...