Sunday, July 24, 2016


NASA, ESA/Hubble and the Hubble Heritage Team,
"The Eagle Nebula’s Pillars of Creation," 2015

Messier was spare in naming—16 on his list of
“things not to be confused with comets.” I find
M16 elegant, deadpan, a relief from the over-
heated tales implicit in other, later naming: the
Snow Queen Cluster, the Eagle Nebula. (For all
that, M16 sits within Serpens Cauda, the tail of
the cosmic snake—another story, in two parts.)
But if you could pull its light down and down to
your waiting eye, or float up and up to les seize,
you’d witness the birth of stars, chemistry and
physics clasping and unclasping, the starlit past
made as present as our rapt attention will allow.

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