Cassini’s Final Breath in Poetry

Waiting for the Last Wave

“Cassini Significant Events Email – Friday, Sept. 15 (DOY 258)
…As Saturn set in the western California sky, the DSN stations in Australia locked onto the spacecraft’s signal as Saturn rose above their eastern horizon…”

We wait on echoes
from the near past
the spearing death cry
from the just silenced mouth
the quintessential sitting
watching and waiting
generations mourn in synced frequencies
higher and lower together
we are all precious
fleeting folk

“…as Cassini continued to faithfully follow the commands it had received months before…”

Is the echo part of the life
still alive
last cry like a geyser spraying
up and out

“…Data continued to flow, and every bit of telemetry was captured at the Australian DSN stations…”

In silence, we watch each other
eyesight embraces eyesight
hands pass a jar of peanuts
fingers kiss fingers
ears watch for the living wave
ready to capture

“…As it tumbled out of control, within minutes Cassini had come apart, melted, and vaporized into its host planet.”

The last echo dying gives us permission
to cry.

Poet’s Note:

For NASA’s complete email text, see the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s weekly Significant Events email, 9/13/17 ­ 9/19/17.

For more Cassini-inspired poetry, try Poetry for the Grand Finale.

Hubble graces Lit for Space banner

Recently I created a new banner image to head the Lit for Space blog. I selected two images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope gallery. After playing in Photoshop, adding a gradient homage to the astronomical phenomena of red shift and blue shift, I posted the above banner. Here are Hubble’s contributions.

Hubble image of galaxy NGC 6814
A spiral snowflake
Read a NASA/ESA Image Feature post
Hubble image of dwarf galaxy Leo A
A case of suspended animation?
Read a NASA/ESA Image Feature post

For both images, here is the credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt