The Hubble Telescope, The Horsehead Nebula, and A Little Walt Whitman

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Two of my passions are poetry and science. I am especially interested in astronomy. In celebration of National Poetry Month and Hubble’s 23rd anniversary image, I’m posting an ESA/ NASA Hubblecast video of the Horsehead Nebula and a poem by the great Walt Whitman.

Hubble’s 23rd Anniversary Image

HorseheadNebula

NOTE: I fixed the Youtube link.

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

WHEN I heard the learn’d astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

A Fresh Take on the Horsehead Nebula

********************

I’m recommending two wonderful picture books

for those of you who have children or grandchildren:

When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer

with words by Walt Whitman and pictures by Loren Long

WhenIHeardtheLearnedAstronomer

Walt Whitman: Words for America,

a wonderful biography written by Barbara Kerley and illustrated by Brian Selznick

WaltWhitman

26 thoughts on “The Hubble Telescope, The Horsehead Nebula, and A Little Walt Whitman

  1. yes, but you still haven’t explained how capt. john sterling of the star patrol escaped from the horsehead nebula when the radiation worms were after him.

  2. Thou Lingering Star
    Robert Burns

    Thou lingering star, with less’ning ray,
    That lov’st to greet the early morn,
    Again thou usherast in the day
    My Mary from my soul was torn.
    O Mary, dear departed shade
    Where is thy place of blissful rest?
    See’st thou thy lover lowly laid?
    Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast?

    That sacred hour can I forget?
    Can I forget the hallow’d grove
    Where, by the winding Ayr, we met,
    To live one day of parting love?
    Eternity cannot efface
    Those records dear of transports past,
    Thy image at our last embrace—
    Ah! little thought we ’twas our last!

    Ayr, gurgling, kiss’d his pebbled shore,
    O’erhung with wild-woods, thickening green;
    The fragrant birch and hawthorn hoar,
    Twin’d amorous round the raptur’d scene;
    The flowers sprang wanton to be prest
    The birds sang love on every spray
    Till too, too soon, the glowing west,
    Proclaim’d the speed of winged day.

    Still o’er these scenes my mem’ry wakes,
    And fondly broods with miser-care;
    Time but th’ impression stronger makes,
    As streams their channels deeper wear.
    O Mary! dear departed shade!
    Where is thy place of blissful rest?
    See’st thou thy lover lowly laid?
    Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast?

  3. Wouldn’t it be nice if…. The government got back to NASA as the main source of space…. Rather than waging wars….

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