Archive for January 17, 2012

The Eagle Nebula (as seen by Herschel)

Posted in Poetry, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on January 17, 2012 by telescoper

It’s been a while since I posted anything from the Herschel Space Observatory, but here’s a stunning image I just saw on the BBC website which will more than rectify that omission. This is the Eagle Nebula, a much-studied object in terms of the optical light it emits, but this is a remarkable picture taken in the far-infrared part of the spectrum.

For more details, see here.

There’s much more to astronomy than looking at pretty pictures, but the opportunity to stare at things like this is definitely one of the perks of the job. It makes me think of Tennyson’s Poem, The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.


Housman on Cricket

Posted in Cricket, Poetry with tags , , on January 17, 2012 by telescoper

I’m posting this cheery little poem in honour of England’s batting performance in the first innings against Pakistan this morning..

Twice a week the winter thorough
Here stood I to keep the goal:
Football then was fighting sorrow
For the young man’s soul.
Now in Maytime to the wicket
Out I march with bat and pad:
See the son of grief at cricket
Trying to be glad.
Try I will; no harm in trying:
Wonder ’tis how little mirth
Keeps the bones of man from lying
On the bed of earth.

Hungry Philosophers

Posted in The Universe and Stuff with tags , , on January 17, 2012 by telescoper