Lonely Neutron Star

Dec 04
by Harley White

HarleyWhiteLonelyNeutronStar 800 

Little’s been penned about neutron stars
in poems of mine as yet,
nor about the stellar repertoires
their core collapses beget.

Then an image I happened to spy
among sidereal views
of a colorful remnant on high
that made astronomy news.

It’s in the Small Magellanic Cloud
two hundred thousand light-years
from planet where life has been endowed
in the haven Earth confers.

The distant vision within our glance
is the first of this rare kind
that’s beyond the Milky Way’s expanse,
thus an exceptional find.

It has both a low magnetic field
and is lacking stellar mate,
albeit oxygen-rich in yield
as shown in remnant ornate.

There are many queries asking why
the center is so displaced,
plus varied theories on the fly
about the blue dot encased

near bottom left in a red ring bright
that inside the blast wave lies,
which Chandra brilliantly brought to light,
adrift in celestial skies.

When the giant supernova burst
so much oxygen was brewed
as seen in the outer ring dispersed
that enough could be accrued

for thousands of solar systems to
be born in a baby boom
of worlds debuting out of the blue,
who can say for what or whom…?

If ‘lonely’ that neutron star might feel
in anthropomorphic twist,
a host of offspring could for real
thereafter come to exist.

There’ve only been ten of these so far
within our galaxy found,
so its sighting has seemed quite bizarre
outside Milky Way’s surround.

While sempiternal questions remain
that may never be resolved,
during humanity’s fleeting reign,
about how deep space evolved,

as physicist Richard Feynman said,
who is deemed a grand savant,
in paraphrase of a quote I read,
‘It can do no harm to want

to fathom more of the cosmos vast,
nor the mystery undo,
for greater than artists’ fancies past
are the wonders of what’s true.’

~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Some sources of inspiration were the following…

“I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part… What is the pattern, or the meaning, or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined!”
~ Richard Feynman (1918-1988)

Image and info, with video ~ E0102-72.3: Astronomers Spot a Distant and Lonely Neutron Star…

Image and info ~ The Lonely Neutron Star in Supernova Remnant E0102-72.3…

Image explanation ~ This supernova remnant was produced by a massive star that exploded in a nearby galaxy called the Small Magellanic Cloud. X-rays from Chandra (blue and purple) have helped astronomers confirm that most of the oxygen in the universe is synthesized in massive stars. The amount of oxygen in the E0102-72.3 ring shown here is enough for thousands of solar systems. This image also contains optical data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope in Chile (red and green).

Image credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/ESO/F.Vogt et al); Optical (ESO/VLT/MUSE & NASA/STScI)


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