Exo-Atmospheres Send Photonic Clues #poetry #astronomy #telescope #space #planets #alien

Exoplanets - check out Kate Rauner's science inspired poetryStars wobble in our telescopes,
Luminosities diverge,
And from such tiny signals
Their planets do emerge.

Thousands of stars host planets,
Giants of swirling gas,
And some that seem more earthly
In their orbits and their mass.

But each of these is distant,
Lifetimes away for certain.
How ever will we know if
There’s life upon the surface?

Light filters through their atmospheres,
When atmospheres they own.
Molecules split spectra
Into patterns that are known.

Life creates imbalances,
Whatever strange to see,
Disequilibrium
Points to biology.

And so we have a protocol
As we gather specks of light,
Photons that passed through planets’ air
On their interstellar flight…

Will tell us if there’s oxygen
Or methane, CO2,
Water vapor, nitrogen,
Or ozone in the brew.

And tease us with the knowledge
That beyond our current grasp
Creation may have left its mark,
A hand we cannot clasp.

Kate Rauner

Inspired by an article from the latimes

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More Life’s Coming #Alien #space #star #life #poem #poetry

Stromatolites

Pre-Cambrian fossil, 3.5 billion years old, but reminds me of a starry sky by Van Gough. Thanks to the US National Park Service

Life arose on Earth
In conditions fairly rare,
Yet as the universe matures
Life could be everywhere.

With star formation winding down,
Supernovae will dwindle,
Small dim stars proliferate,
More room for life to wiggle.

Impatient were our ancestors
Or maybe we’re just lucky
Self-replicating molecules
Simply weren’t too fussy.

Earth may be a pioneer
With most life future-tense,
Good news for astrobiologists
Five billion years hence.

By Kate Rauner

My schedule got away from me this week, so I’m posting my weekly poem late. I hope it’s worth the wait, and my thanks to smithsonianmag.com