Posts Tagged ‘Planets’



Credit: NASA, ESA, and L. Lamy (Observatory of Paris, CNRS, CNES)

Mysterious planet
Ever blue
Signs of sentience
For the few

So near and yet
So far apart
You hide from eyes
Your distant heart

Rolling onward
At a pace
Rings and moons
Adorn your space

The Sun for me
One shining bright
For you a star
In the night

Two together
Joined somehow
By the light
Here and now



1. Uranus auroras glimpsed from Earth
2. Hubble Spots Aurorae on the Planet Uranus


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A presenter of a television programme on the origin and structure of the Earth called the regions below its crust the “Earth Machine”, which set me thinking.

Beneath our feet, far down below,
lies one surrounded by a glow,
of iron made the experts say;
the “Earth Machine” turns on its way.

Created, born, who now would know?
A sentience, perhaps to grow,
a mother to her creatures all,
unrecognised behind the wall.

Life ever outside Thought’s domain,
untouched by those who would earn fame
dissecting to uncertainty
a world “out there” that none can see.

Infinite diversity,
an awesome, grand miscellany:
the planets, moons, and others there
within the Sun’s grasp and its glare.

I reach down deep and try to sense
the emanations rising hence
from one unfeeling, most presume,
emerged but from a different womb.

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Image taken by the Mars Global Surveyor of a (building sized) monolith found on Phobos, a moon of the planet Mars

A fantasy on exploration of the solar system

On Mercury we’ve lived through a Sun rise
We’ve trudged through the sand dunes of Mars
We’ve stumbled through firestorms on Venus
Strange landscapes here under the stars

We’ve dived into oceans of giants
Flown inside their shepherded rings
From Jupiter out to far Neptune
On moons we’ve seen wonderful things

We’ve found an abundance of life forms
Each world has a number for sure
Intelligence, sentience, prospers
Some clearly defined, some obscure

It seems there were older explorers
Who left traces that we have found
Their monuments standing like statues
And habitats built underground

We’ve seen man’s intentions to follow
To seek out his fortune in space
His self-centredness might soon be tested
If he meets the ones of our race

Interesting and detailed descriptions of Solar System objects can be found at nineplanets.org. A few details I found especially fascinating are reproduced below, with thanks.


Mercury has no moons.
This fact and the high eccentricity of Mercury’s orbit would produce very strange effects for an observer on Mercury’s surface. At some longitudes, the observer would see the Sun rise and then gradually increase in apparent size as it slowly moved toward the zenith. At that point, the Sun would stop, briefly reverse course, and stop again before resuming its path toward the horizon and decreasing in apparent size. All the while, the stars would be moving three times faster across the sky. Observers at other points on Mercury’s surface would see different but equally bizarre motions.


Venus has no moons.
Venus’ rotation is somewhat unusual in that it is both very slow (243 Earth days per Venus day, slightly longer than Venus’ year) and retrograde (clockwise – Jan). In addition, the periods of Venus’ rotation and of its orbit are synchronized such that it always presents the same face toward Earth when the two planets are at their closest approach. Whether this is a resonance effect (due to gravitational interaction – Jan) or merely a coincidence is not known.


Mars has two moons.
Mars has some of the most highly varied and interesting terrain of any of the terrestrial planets, some of it quite spectacular:

Olympus Mons: the largest mountain in the Solar System rising 24 km (78,000 ft.) above the surrounding plain. Its base is more than 500 km in diameter and is rimmed by a cliff 6 km (20,000 ft) high.
Tharsis: a huge bulge on the Martian surface that is about 4000 km across and 10 km high.
Valles Marineris: a system of canyons 4000 km long and from 2 to 7 km deep (top of page);
Hellas Planitia: an impact crater in the southern hemisphere over 6 km deep and 2000 km in diameter.


Jupiter has 63 known moons (as of Feb 2004).
The Great Red Spot (GRS) has been seen by Earthly observers for more than 300 years (its discovery is usually attributed to Cassini, or Robert Hooke in the 17th century). The GRS is an oval about 12,000 by 25,000 km, big enough to hold two Earths. Other smaller but similar spots have been known for decades. Infrared observations and the direction of its rotation indicate that the GRS is a high-pressure region whose cloud tops are significantly higher and colder than the surrounding regions. Similar structures have been seen on Saturn and Neptune. It is not known how such structures can persist for so long.


Saturn has 53 named moons (as of spring 2010).
Saturn’s rings are extraordinarily thin: though they’re 250,000 km or more in diameter, they’re less than one kilometre thick. Despite their impressive appearance, there’s really very little material in the rings — if the rings were compressed into a single body it would be no more than 100 km across. The ring particles seem to be composed primarily of water ice, but they may also include rocky particles with icy coatings.
Some of the moons, the so-called “shepherding satellites” are clearly important in keeping the rings in place.


Uranus has 27 named moons.
Most of the planets spin on an axis nearly perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic (the Earth’s orbit – Jan) but Uranus’ axis is almost parallel to the ecliptic. At the time of Voyager 2’s passage, Uranus’ south pole was pointed almost directly at the Sun. This results in the odd fact that Uranus’ polar regions receive more energy input from the Sun than do its equatorial regions. Uranus is nevertheless hotter at its equator than at its poles. The mechanism underlying this is unknown.


Neptune has 13 known moons.
Neptune’s blue colour is largely the result of absorption of red light by methane in the atmosphere but there is some additional as-yet-unidentified constituent, which gives the clouds their rich blue tint.
Neptune has rapid winds confined to bands of latitude and large storms or vortices. Neptune’s winds are the fastest in the solar system, reaching 2000 km/hour – mechanism unknown.

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No place to go and no place to stay

I don’t think we’re supposed
To leave this planet Earth
Which is bad news for her I must say
Look around at the others
That hurl round the sun
And admit that it does seem that way

Atmospheres are too thin
Or too thick, or not right
Being poisonous for us to inhale
And with temperatures showing
Too hot or too cold
They would make us quite soon look so pale

Trying to live as on Earth
In domes built to protect
Going out in suits with air supply
The prolonged isolation
From all that is home
Might pose dangers that none can deny

Far away there could be
A world round some faint star
That resembles the Earth to a tee
But with so many light-years
To travel across
Generations would pass just to see

Some would engineer worlds
Change their structures at will
Sure that things would not get out of hand
I’d stand really far back when
That weapon they fire
Never mind how well tested and planned

So it’s sad news for Earth
It seems we’re here to stay
To pollute and destroy as we like
Until Nature decides that
She has had enough
And we humans can then take a hike

Of course, this can never be the whole story. Man might conquer other worlds, somehow, someday. He might even learn and change his ways. Pigs might fly.

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The ash from Grimsvotn seen now dimly over the Netherlands leads to wonder and speculation

To weakly grey the sunny sky
thin clouds of ash drift slowly by
cooled now so far from island home
beneath the glacier’s icy dome

where fire and water meet to show
the power of that which lies below.
Its rivers glide and flow to sea
as if away from what might be.

The pores upon the planet’s skin
release the tensions born within
a sentience waking from its sleep
perhaps some rendezvous to keep.

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Picture courtesy Prozac1

I climb upon this frozen hill;
amongst the weathered trees I stand
my eyes drawn to the hanging moons
so close I feel their presence here
within this heart that yearns to see
the wonders of that mystery.

Is there another world as this
somewhere across that endless sea?
A sanctuary, an island home,
for life to flourish and survive.
A place where beings such as we
with others live in harmony.

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Martian visitors

Spirit and Opportunity:
two rovers down on Mars
searching for life’s blood on that world
floating beneath the stars.

Five years beyond hope they’ve survived
dust storms and sand dunes deep.
Their wings draw sunlight in to power
those that must never sleep. (more…)

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Apparently aliens who were visiting the Moon to attend a gathering of species committed to a peaceful invasion of Earth were brought into a state of confusion yesterday when a projectile from the planet exploded in a crater not far from the underground center where the meeting was taking place.
After the initial shock, and a lot of speculation from reporters, a spokesman for the delegations gave a short reaction. In it was said that they were highly troubled by what appeared to be a wanton act of destruction. Luckily no one had been injured, and although it couldn’t be expected that the Earthlings knew of their presence, the action was condemned as being extremely hostile in showing no regard for possible unforeseen repercussions. An intercepted transmission showing jubilant Earthlings congratulating themselves on what they obviously saw as a successful mission only added to the disgust of the delegates.
When the meeting was resumed at a second location, deeper inside the Moon than the first for obvious reasons, there was only one topic on the agenda: “The moon crash and its implications”.
It was unanimously decided that the Earthlings must soon be made to realize the responsibilities involved in expanding into space before something far worse occurred. Over how this was to be accomplished there was no immediate agreement, though similar actions would be monitored and if necessary terminated using the clandestine methods already in use for that purpose.
The Galactic Council had already come to the decision that this decidedly neurotic race of humans must be brought into line within two of their years. Simulations had already shown that the risk of devastation to Earth’s environment was growing exponentially and that if no action was taken those of the Moon and Mars would follow within fifty years.
When the last ship lifted from the Moon’s surface and the guardians closed off the underground chambers, all was peaceful again except for the tremors which could be detected for some time.

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Another heap of junk is about to collide at high velocity with the Moon to test a theory about ice possibly lying in abundance near its poles. This is important for any humans who are planning to exploit it in the near future, not in the least because they’ll need ice in their cokes when the Sun is high.
I hope any sentient creature there will get an inkling of disaster before it gets spread into infinitesimally small, some probably twitching pieces – as cows sense an approaching storm. It is almost certain that microscopic life forms will be sent to their heaven up there, presumably above the none existent sky, perhaps arriving on Earth and eventually replacing us with those of a more enlightened nature.
Man has done this before with the Moon: some eastern nation, probably China, did the same thing not long ago, I believe, though I’m not interested enough to look it up.
Man feels he has a right to blunder his way into the universe any way he sees fit, using collisions (as above), nosy rovers digging holes everywhere and left-over robots now disintegrating in some toxic atmosphere. Perhaps some earthly microbes that have hitched a ride undetected are even now mutating into exciting new forms.
Of course, I should also mention the thousands of pieces of junk flying around our own planet, some still pinging their way in orbit, some dead or dying and heading for the upper atmosphere where they will burn up, perhaps spreading some nasty part of their innards downwards in the process.
The astronauts who landed on the moon seem to have been pretty milieu friendly, leaving little else but a lot of footprints and a few leftovers like a stiff US flag and some reflecting mirrors. These will no doubt cause any visiting aliens a few headaches (if they have heads that is) unless man returns first to clean up a bit. Odds are he will return before long and I wonder how much longer it will then be before the landing sights are turned into tourist attractions with exciting new low-gravity experiences?
Will there be a Mount Armstrong, a Duke City or perhaps a Mitchell Gorge?
Mars has also had its share of unexpected intruders though it has managed to swat quite a few before they could carry out their self centered missions. One made a significant crater of its own on landing due to a mix-up over the system of measurement used by its computer to plot speed and distance, causing the brakes to be applied a little too late.
One Russian probe was zapped in the neighborhood of Phobos under mysterious circumstances. The Phobosians probably have a national day to celebrate.
The early Viking orbiters took pictures of features on the surface of Mars before flying on to oblivion and beyond. Unfortunately due to lack of detail many geological features took on the form of artificial ones when studied by those not brainwashed by science – a human impediment (not science) which may yet prove useful. Unfortunately, later orbiters with sharper eyes appear to show that these earlier signs of civilization are but optical illusions, though only when a human or an advanced robot can run rampage through the Cydonia region or accidentally comes across a beer can somewhere else, which might in turn might lead to a mysterious entrance into a Martian underground extravaganza, will most be convinced one way or the other.
I find it a great pity that these traveling rovers always seem to be put down in the most visually boring locations, so that we laypeople are left with nothing else to do but imagine letters and numbers scrawled on rocks and boulders shaped like familiar objects or gasp with limited excitement at seeing another dust devil spinning by.
I do hope we are not alone within the accessible vicinity of space and that others, whoever or whatever they are, are going to teach us a very good lesson before long.

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"Seeing is believing." "Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe."


“Visual confirmation of a hypothesis must produce faith in it, but faith and comprehension are far from being the same thing. However, where comprehension is unattainable, faith and respectful attention will not be despised.”

John Leuthold – The Tides and The Continent – Making Forces of the Solar System -1921


I wrote this after reading a fascinating account of the ether theories of Miller and Reich and Leuthold’s work on what he calls Cosmic Energy. The modern idea of the Zero Point Energy might be construed as their modern counterpart.



It’s summer her and winter there
While some still sleep in hidden lair
Others in waking warmth appear
To reap fruit of another year

It spirals in eternal flow
The Earth that feels the way to go
Two streams steer it to unknown shores
While men still die in useless wars

The seasons born of tilted stance
And tides from Sun and Moon that chance
To move in such a subtle way
Maintaining perfect disarray

To Draco-Vega we are bound
Rushing along without a sound
With moons and planets, others there
A gathering their lot to share

Rivers of orgone, Z.P.E
The ether forms that none can see
Make gravity a dream of man
No more a part of Nature’s plan

A revolution is at hand
That will cast theories oh so grand
Back to the realm of fantasy
A renaissance of mystery.


1. Ether theories



2. Leuthold


3. Zero Point Energy (ZPE) – many articles on the internet.

One popular account can be found here


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A million light years of pure darkness
Then a glow spreads through the night
Timeless moment of creation
Raw intelligence in flight.

An eye that opens to the starlight
Far away in time and space
Sees the galaxies and gas clouds
Given form by thoughts that race.

A sudden flash that blinds its sensors
Wakens those who wish to learn
And they swarm with much excitement
Always mixed with some concern

Is this the long awaited message
Or again one from quite near?
Are there patterns to its structure
To relieve the doubting fear?

But all their tests show it quite random
So at last they drift away
Little knowing that its content
Was for one that must obey.

There was much panic as their planet
Moved in closer to its sun
Which as no one had suspected
Was a new phase just begun.

Out there the ever moving darkness
Emanations of the night
Ripple out across that ocean
Feeling everything’s just right.

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A short list of scientific subjects which can still be used in science fiction stories, as they have as yet no proven foundation in science, no matter what some would have us believe:

Global Warming

No conclusive evidence.
Based on primitive models of the Earth and trends which may or may not be relevant for the next few hundred years. Contrary to common belief, there has been no or little global warming since 1995 and this is shown by two completely independent datasets.



(N.B. left hand scale goes from 9.6 to 10.8 C in steps of 0.2)

There is inconclusive evidence that CO2 increase contributes to it and the theory of how carbon dioxide influences the global mean temperature is complicated and unreliable.

Black Holes

No conclusive evidence.
Based on the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Big Bang Universe

No conclusive evidence.
Based on theory.
Alternative: Steady State Universe.

Solar System Generation

No conclusive evidence.
Based on theories using primitive models.

What goes on at the centre of celestial bodies

No conclusive evidence.
Based on theories using primitive models.

Gravitational force

Not even a theory as yet.
Acts at speeds vastly exceeding the speed of light as evidenced by solar system stability, which goes against the accepted scientific principle that this speed is a limit for energy transfer.


Einstein’s Special Theory has never been tested in the conditions necessary for its validity i.e. uniform motion. Lots of misunderstandings here that have to do with relative measurement being applied to physical processes.
Alternative: Lorentzian Relativity


1. http://www.factsandarts.com/articles/no-significant-global-warming-since-1995/

2. http://www.metaresearch.org/home.asp

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Are stars really far away as many think
or could we at light speed be there in a wink?
Are galaxies so far that we see them when
they were so much younger and there were no men?

No one to look up and to wonder just why
all those strange lights twinkling up there in the sky,
did not fall to Earth or fade gently away,
as sparks from the fire or as night swallows day.

If all that we see is too distant to grasp.
If red-shifts show coat tails whose speeds make us gasp.
Then we’re on an island and there we shall stay.
Perhaps one day get to spend two weeks away

on some other world not as cozy as here.
Protected from things that might fill us with fear,
But also see wonders so strange and extreme
that no thoughts could weave how exotic the dream.

They say that light’s speed though finite is so great
that nothing can leave it behind to come late,
But why should man’s theories determine what’s true,
close eyes that are seeking to find something new.

Old gravity’s “force” pulls as if with a hand
that makes all it touches move to its command.
No time does it tarry to give one the chance
to escape its clutches and avoid the dance.

I feel that there may be surprises in store
for those with eyes open and will to explore.
Perhaps the stars may reach out to us at last
and show us that they do not live in our past.

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Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

The first and sixth stanzas wouldn’t adhere to the restful nature of the rest I’m afraid, and insisted on getting their point across rather intolerantly, though they did eventually agree amongst themselves to use the same form. Well they’re young and impetuous, so I forgave them as one does. Perhaps you’ll forgive them too.

The Earth has spheroidal oblateness
Which means it’s got a tummy
A bulge around the waist it has
But not from yummy yummy.

The Moon is its head that once fitted
On shoulders so broad and so firm
Now rounded with age they can hardly be seen
But one can two slight bulges discern.

Its appendages were lost in battle
What’s left forms the asteroid belt
While flying around they knocked others about
And the craters mark blows that these felt.

Its adversary’s long gone and distant
Perhaps a competitive sort
That didn’t play fair in the heat of the night
And left with or without what it sought.

The Earth is now used to the drifting
And making the best of its fate
But still in its dreams it roams star fields anew
In the roll of one born to create.

It seems an implausible option
To any standard theory
But who knows what went on before
Things really got this dreary.

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What would we find deep in the heart of a star?
Would it be just physics or something bizarre?
Might it change forever the way that we think;
Flush all of our theories right then down the sink?

What would we find deep down inside our old Earth?
A sentient being though lacking in mirth?
Leviathan swimming the waters of space,
Just living, surviving in silence and grace?

What do we find deep down in energy’s heart?
Lots of bits and pieces some flying apart.
A chaos of form that defies man’s desire,
To capture the flame without lighting the fire.

Thought drives us to wonder and wish to define;
To drag Nature’s secrets somehow into line,
But as it is part of what’s hidden from view,
It looks out with eyes that can see nothing new.

Our fantasies furnish the truths in our lives
And give form to phantoms that move in disguise.
Reality fades into dreams that beguile
As in fascination we watch for a while.

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So they’re sending yet more space junk up to spy on the universe. This time it’s to look for Earth-like planets out there. Billions are being wasted on banks so why not on furthering our knowledge just for the fun of it. Oh sorry, “on furthering the worthwhile pursuits of science” is what I should have said. What if we do find a planet like Earth? We can’t get there because it’ll be too far away even at light speed, which science tells us can’t be reached (let alone surpassed) even if we had the means to do so. Any life there that might coincidentally have attained the same stage of development as mankind would surely not have succumbed to the same neurotic state that has befallen the latter. Hopefully, any intelligent species out there would have managed to avoid the pitfalls of man’s self worship. They would undoubtedly look upon the latter’s antics as those of a deranged and dangerous animal and presumably want to avoid contact at all costs.
The SETI radio telescopes have been listening for decades for intelligent messages from space to no avail. There was one transmission that lasted very briefly and which brought an adrenaline rush to the researchers but was never heard again. Someone out there accidentally leaned on the wrong button I should imagine.
Nevertheless, here is part of a message I intercepted some time ago, probably due to some glitch in my satellite antenna. I hesitated to make it public as it has never been officially accepted as extraterrestrial though it does support the above conclusion, wherever it came from, so I’ve decided to release it for general perusal.

“… The humanoid race calling itself Mankind is the worst thing that has happened to that planet. The race is made up of members that recognize only their individuality and have no natural connection with the race except on a repressed instinctive level. This segregation involves identity with a fictitious personality that almost completely severs the link with the racial consciousness and leads to mass neurosis. They have conflicts which kill millions. This personality somehow turns natural fear into a fear of its own demise and has invented all manner of ways to push that fear into the background by constantly searching for ways to enhance its own importance and create an illusion of immortality.”

(there is some static then it continues)

“… and it collects all manner of objects to which it gives names and attaches great importance. It covets them. It will go to great lengths to protect them. It gives only to receive. It has no respect for other species that live there or the planet itself. It drains the natural resources in maintaining an imaginary state of being, that has nothing to do with the natural state of man, and is called society.
This is an organization of personalities that aims to provide optimal living conditions for those within it and protection from an imaginary enemy out there – its nemesis. It is of course doomed to failure due to the inability of its neurotic individuals to fully cooperate with it and each other.”

(more static, unfortunately, then)

“… it coerces some of its own members to punish or banish other members who do not or cannot live according to the majority’s rules or the rules of those with the most influence. Other societies are seen as competitors until they can be absorbed or subdued, hence the constant warring on all levels and the uneven distribution of natural resources amongst members of the race.
So we conclude that this race should spend all its efforts on cleaning up its own mess down there before turning its attention to outer space and making another mess somewhere else, though even after millennia it still seems unable to admit, let alone confront, the seriousness of its condition.
Any who intercept this message are hereby warned.”

Let’s hope it was a prank.

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“We find that the theories of the nature of life divide themselves into two varieties: the mechanistic and the vitalistic. The former kind of theory states that all living phenomena are to be explained solely by the ordinary physical laws, and that life differs from other phenomena only on account of its complexity, or in some other incidental manner. On the other hand, the vitalistic theories are to the effect that living phenomena are characterized by some mysterious sort of “vital force” which would seem to have the power to suspend or alter the operation of the physical laws that govern the rest of the universe. In the course of the history of science, much has been said both for the vitalistic and the mechanistic theories, and, as yet, no agreement has actually been reached on that subject.”
Extract from: – The Animate and the Inanimate by William James Sidis,  Chapter VII, Theories of Life

My eyes capture the light coming from far away in space and patterns form in my brain based on knowledge I already have. These patterns acquire names and structure as if I am painting the scene again on canvas which in fact I am, as we all are. We are artists painting the world using knowledge based on information received by the senses. Luckily our canvases appear similar enough to be recognized by others.
We see bright energy concentrations at the centers of galaxies and though no one knows what they are in reality, they acquire form through knowledge. Some see mechanistically determined black or white holes while others see beyond this to perhaps something as yet unexplained, perhaps even intelligent in some way. Nearer home, we do not really know what is at the centre of the Earth or the Sun though the same duality of theories lets us all paint pictures.
How can two atomic particles produced as a pair “know” where each other are even when widely separated, as is found in experiments? This is termed by science “entanglement”.
Information is somehow passed and processed seemingly instantaneously between individuals.
Is it not possible that intelligence is really the essence out of which all universal structures are formed and that the creative ability of that intelligence increases with its complexity?
Man defines sentience as the capability to feel or perceive. Although he attaches self importance to the idea, might this sense of awareness not be a more common aspect of nature?
I would suggest that many structures, especially where complex creative processes such as star and planetary formation are occurring, might also be sentient in nature.
Is there really a dividing line between the animate and the inanimate or are they like all opposites imagined by man and merely aspects of some indivisible whole?

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Object Names: Hickson Compact Group 90, HCG 90, M59

Credit: NASA, ESA, and R. Sharples (University of Durham)

From the Hubble Site here I quote:

“The three galaxies—NGC 7173 (middle left), NGC 7174 (middle right), and NGC 7176 (lower right)—are part of Hickson Compact Group 90, named after astronomer Paul Hickson, who first cataloged these small clusters of galaxies in the 1980s. NGC 7173 and NGC 7176 appear to be smooth, normal elliptical galaxies without much gas and dust.”

end quote

The galaxy middle right is being torn apart by the other two according to the site and eventually all three will merge under their mutual gravitational attraction. This will initiate an enormous production of new stars and presumably planets and who knows perhaps new galaxies.
The cycle of rebirth in action.

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Have you seen the computer projections of how our planet’s near space looks for visiting aliens? All that rubbish. It’s worse than the country lanes round here. We as a race ought to be reported to some intergalactic watchdog (or the feline variety), perhaps we have been and intergalactic judges and their lawyers are already under way with unlimited prosecution notices.
We could be banned from space exploration for centuries if the Vegans have anything to say about it. Real sticklers for cleanliness in space they are. Look what happened to those of the Orion Nebulae: guilty politicians, scientists and space engineers had to crawl on hands and knees along space ladders to collect their rubbish from hundreds of planets. Thousands perished half way through exhaustion, irradiation or collisions with fast moving objects such as toilet rolls and lost nuts and bolts. At such speeds they can take a head clean off or even two if you have them.
The only ones who are laughing are the Intergalactic Refuse Consortium who see their profits soaring if they get the contract, which all expect they eventually will. They usually don’t wait for permission either, having influence in high galactic places. And the bills they present can cripple any planet, especially ones suffering from financial crises. Their nearest rivals have their hands full in the eastern quadrant where planetary engineering has taken its toll. One has to move forward inch by inch in that region, which is decidedly not good for moral and has resulted in so many mutinies that ships are disappearing by the EQT minute. Fortunately this minute is quite a bit longer than an Earth minute, but even so…
Those on the ISS are in for a show anyway. I hope their cameras are working and their diplomatic skills honed. They could be the first to witness contacts of the third kind and if Captain Thing of the space cleaner WipeUp comes to call it could be quite a party. He’s renowned for eating anyone who can’t or won’t drink a bottle of Sirian Thunder Ale with him, a brew that is renowned for disembowelling even the champion beer drinkers of Burp III on a bad day.
Well all’s fair in love and refuse as they say on Thing’s home-world.
We would be well advised to take precautions at any rate. Those who can’t pay the price will have a rough time. Pleading mass insanity sometimes helps and offering to become slaves of races who don’t already have enough of them is a good second. The treatment of slaves is now much better than it used to be, largely due to the expensive but quickly sold wayward ladies and gentlemen of Phallus III, whose protests while they were on the job induced important clients to voice and record their sudden opinions.
Well anyway, we’ve been warned.

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Early star

Oh Jupiter, almost a star,
But shining brighter from afar.
Your swirling vapors hide from eyes
Creation’s mask you to disguise.
Are you a daughter of the Sun?
Perhaps a stranger from the deep?
Do you watch over those you serve
Or are you draped in waiting sleep?
To dream with those that in your fold
Long for the warmth to stir the cold.


Oh Venus, burning in the night,
No sun you need to warm your heart.
Turning so slowly on your way
Almost our year for you a day.
No eye could ever see sunrise
That stares up from those scorching plains.
Dense clouds of burning droplets swirl
That never for the stars unfurl.

The Queen

Oh Saturn, braided queen for me
A wondrous sight for all to see.
Eyes up above your splendor bring,
To mist these orbs with tears of joy
And touch the heart to make it sing.
Passions released by maker’s hand
The artist of this courtly band.

Your rings of pearls attendants sweep
As shepherds with their many sheep,
Working to some unknown design,
The jewels within that necklace bright
Into the bands they weave so fine.
Now lit by the rays from distant glow
As if their handiwork to show.

Mr. Blue

Oh far Uranus, pale your face
With rolling gait you make your way
Through realms of darkness to the light
That draws you with its hidden arms
A beacon in your star filled night

Thin wisps of whiteness high above
Race on the winds that surely blow
Above those azure oceans deep
Opaque as if in trance beguiled
But hiding one who does not sleep

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