Nov 152011

Wisdom in His eyes does shine serenely,
On the understanding of His lady,
Strength in victory brings to pass their dreaming,
From creative force foundations laid He.

Endless though it was her endless waiting,
Faith eternal, hope and love defeated
Time. And now her knight reveals a true king,
Witness of the virtue oft entreated.

As the faerie queen revised all history,
Every female spirit was encompassed,
Eve from Adam, then the rest, her sisters
Fell as one into Earth’s fiery suntrap.

Mary – stellar priestess, light of heaven –
Body, mind and soul, the one uplifted,
Holds within her hand a starry seven,
All who see her light above are gifted.

Just as Jacob found his soul in Rachel,
So the dove with she at last is rising,
As Sophia stands beside Saint Michael,
Angels all surrounding, deep are sighing.

So the miracle that’s even greater –
More than even Moses made in Egypt –
Over and above the Red Sea parted,
More than manna dew-lit in the desert.

More than all the plagues that conquered Pharaoh,
More than Aaron’s staff that blossomed newly,
Just as Isaac came from out of Sarah,
So the soul-mates knew themselves and truly.

Feb 192011

The carbon atoms inside your body were forged inside a star somewhere, billions of years ago. How did they end up on Earth?

A good way for a star to divest itself of carbon is by exploding. Massive stars typically end their lives catastrophically as supernovas. What happens is that the core of the star runs out of nuclear fuel and can no longer sustain the enormous pressure needed to hold it up against the weight of its material.

A critical juncture is reached at which the core abruptly gives up and implodes catastrophically to form either a black hole or a neutron star (depending on its initial mass). The overlying material plunges inwards, following the collapsing core, but rebounds and explodes spectacularly, spewing gas into interstellar space.

Stellar cataclysms like this erupt  on average two or three times per century per galaxy, and release so much energy that for a few days the stricken star can rival an entire galaxy in its brightness.

Paul Davies, The Goldilocks Enigma