“The Wonder That’s Keeping the Stars Apart…”

The Astronomy Picture of the Day is of one of my favorite nebulae, the “Heart and Soul” nebulae located in the conestellation Cassiopeia.  Like the human heart’s invention of poetry, so much can be said with so little words – the image of this natural wonder speaks for itself.

The Heart and Soul Nebula - left IC 1848 the soul, the heart at right is IC 1805

Explanation: Is the heart and soul of our Galaxy located in Cassiopeia? Possibly not, but that is where two bright emission nebulas nicknamed Heart and Soul can be found. The Heart Nebula, officially dubbed IC 1805 and visible in the above zoomable view on the right, has a shape reminiscent of a classical heart symbol. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen. Several young open clusters of stars populate the image and are visible above in blue, including the nebula centers. Light takes about 6,000 years to reach us from these nebulas, which together span roughly 300 light years. Studies of stars and clusters like those found in the Heart and Soul Nebulas have focused on how massive stars form and how they affect their environment.

The human heart, like this distant wonder of nature, is a cherished and glowing place, where we hold our most precious and sometimes concealed treasures.  E.E. Cummings flips the telescope around to peer inside of his own inner nebula:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

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4 Responses to ““The Wonder That’s Keeping the Stars Apart…””

  1. Nancy A. Says:

    Thanks, Davin for sharing this wondrous image and beautiful poem — both are food for the heart and soul of us lovers and dreamers…

  2. Davin Says:

    Thanks Nancy! It’s glad to see APOD highlight the Heart and Soul nebula on days other than Valentine’s Day. When the true significance of these images hits us, we all seem to form spiritual connection with the Universe.

  3. Vicky Says:

    It is really beautiful Davin! this is actually the first time I see your page and I’m really amazed how science and poetry can be ombined so beautifully! I will surely keep track of it!

  4. bill.oliver@yahoo.com Says:

    love it “keep the stars”

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