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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Poem of Stellar Proportions!

My poem, "Soul Light" is now appearing in print at Dragons, Knights, and Angels. This is a poem I submitted for their poetry contest this past fall. It didn't win, but they still wanted it, and I was more than happy to have them publish it.

This poem is allegorical, and to full catch the allegory, it can be helpful to know something about supernova and the creation of news stars. You can read a lot about supernova at the Wikipedia article. Here is an excerpt from that article which is key to understanding the poem, if you are not aware of it.

Supernovae tend to enrich the surrounding interstellar medium with metals, which for astronomers means all of the elements other than hydrogen and helium and is a different definition than that used in chemistry.

These injected elements ultimately enrich the molecular clouds that are the sites of star formation. Thus, each stellar generation has a slightly different composition, going from an almost pure mixture of hydrogen and helium to a more metal-rich composition. Supernovae are the dominant mechanism for distributing these heavier elements, which are formed in a star during its period of nuclear fusion, throughout space. The different abundances of elements in the material that forms a star have important influences on the star's life, and may decisively influence the possibility of having planets orbiting it.

The kinetic energy of an expanding supernova remnant can trigger star formation due to compression of nearby, dense molecular clouds in space. The increase in turbulent pressure can also prevent star formation if the cloud is unable to lose the excess energy.

That's all the clues I'll give you. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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