When Earth Coalesced, Was There Nemesis? Interesting Research Revisited #astronomy #galaxy #stars #poet #poetry #science



Binary stars are seldom identical

A main sequence star
Out in a spiral arm,
Light from your nearest brethren
Falls dimly in your realm.

Bits of rock,
Scraps of gas,
Hydrogen and stone,
Remnants of your origin,
But otherwise

It seems that in
Your early phase,
Four billion years ago,
You would have spun a coiling dance
With a twin aglow.

Half such pairs,
Such triples,
Cling and orbit tight,
But others,
Looping, twisting far,
Are lost into the night.

Where does your mate,
Your other half,
That none can say.
Your splendid self looks down on Earth
The only star
That lights our day.

by Kate Rauner

About 40% of stars have stellar partners, so being alone is not unusual.

2nd edition now available! Expanded!

But recent studies indicate that all stars may have been born with companions. Sol’s may have been paired once, but the fancifully named Nemesis is far away, if it ever existed, “out there mingling with other stars in the region of the Milky Way Galaxy we call home.” newsledge

Don’t feel sorry for our Sun. Only you and I can feel loneliness.

Visit my blog for a new science inspired poem, every other post or so. Or read one of my collections – available as ebooks on all the favorite on-line outlets or paperbacks at Create Space and Amazon.

In a Dry Forest #haiku #nature #poem #poetry #flower

In my yard

Agave flowers
Lift their blooms above the trees
Reaching for the sun

by Kate Rauner

Find more poetry inspired by science and nature here – every other blog or so. Or read one of my collections of rhyming poetry and a few haiku too.

White Bread, Wheat Bread – Depends on Your Gut #poem #poetry #health #healthbenefits

are you alone,
You’re like a little world
Where flocks of fungi, viruses,
And bacteria lay curled.

No matter what you think of them
They’ll always live with you,
Will pay their rent with vitamins
And help digest your food.

Your levels of blood sugar
Depend on what you’re eating,
Also on microbes that you host,
Essential to well-being.

The zoo that you contain
Is practically unique,
So it’s your inner swirling mob
That says what’s best to eat

By Kate Rauner

As I’ve rhymed before, It can be surprising to learn we human beings are part of nature whether we like it or not – host to a world of critters – some bad but lots good. Thanks to Popular Science for their article on the glycemic response to white and wheat breads, and especially for pointing out that one study should never change what you eat.

What the study does suggest, however, is that if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic and notice that certain nutrient-rich foods causes your sugar levels to spike, you might be better off avoiding them and finding other, also nutrient-rich foods, that don’t send your sugar levels soaring.”

2nd edition now available! Expanded!

All my books, including collections of my science-inspired poetry, are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and other major online retailers. All major digital formats are available at Smashwords, and paperbacks are at Create Space and Amazon. Read one today.

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Fire Season #poem #poetry #firefighter

Firefighter by Charles White

Sawmill, Arizona,
Was a target practice start.
At West Mims Fire in Georgia,
There lightning played a part.

All before the summer
Begins Memorial Day,
Before the weekend warriors
Come to the woods to play.

When living in a city
You look for weekend gigs.
Or if you’re in suburbia,
Fast food jobs are big.

But in the rural places,
In forests dry or desert low,
It’s during fire season
That you make extra dough.

By Kate Rauner

R&R 1 2nd edition ebook coverMy spouse was barely home long enough to clean and repair his gear – now gone to the Baca Prescribed Burn – hoping to remove accumulated fuel so wildfires don’t turn deadly. You bloom where you’re planted! In you live on a shore, you fish and swim and maybe get a boat. In a city, I suppose there are clubs and entertainments. But in rural America you hunt, go 4-wheeling – and learn wildland firefighting.

Visit my blog for a new poem, every-other-post (about) or try one of my collections – rhyming poems for fun, inspired by science. And a few haiku too.

Controversial Bubbles Challenge Origins of Life #poem #poetry #evolution #originoflife

Bubbling Yellowstone mud pot

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble,
Over three billion years ago,
Volcanic heat met water
And something started to grow.

Perhaps deep in the ocean
Or perhaps in springs on land,
Bubbles found in rocks today
Are clues to understand.

by Kate Rauner

Searching for traces of Earth’s earliest life is hard and there are plenty of skeptics, because the signs aren’t bones or shells, but “blobs and knobs and something that they interpret as filaments.” People keep trying because “it would be incredibly exciting to find some sign of something that was living 3.8 billion years ago.”

For more on what that “spongy kind of gloopy soup” may have been, see NPR tiny fossils and

NPR Australian fossils

My apologies for mangling The Bard, but I needed the bubbles. Here’s Macbeth:

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.
Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

Copernicus had a Simple Answer to Brightest Star #astronomy #Venus #poem #poetry

Venus over the Pacific – the other bright “star” above and to the left is Jupiter

Brightest star first shining
As the sun goes down
In the orange twilight
To horizon bound.

Lower every evening,
Following the sun,
Abandons us to darkness
When its reign is done

Reborn in the morning
Leading dawn to day,
A star that is a wanderer
Within the solar sway.

By Kate Rauner

Ancients figured out that Venus was the same object in the evening and morning sky – but its motion didn’t really make sense until Copernicus. Through observation, before the invention of the telescope, he realized that

  • The rotation of the Earth accounts for the apparent daily rotation of the stars
  • The apparent annual cycle of movements of the Sun is caused by the Earth revolving around it, and
  • The apparent retrograde motion of the planets is caused by the motion of the Earth we observe from.

Watch Venus’ movements for yourself – the planet is bright enough to observe even under city lights.

Focus on what happens when an icy rock meets the sun #meteor #astronomy #poem #poetry

4 hour time lapse of a meteor shower against the stars

Once a comet passed this way,
Falling in for centuries,
Only to swing away again,
Beyond living memories.

Inward past the planets
Where there are none to see,
From frozen space to solar flame,
Seared and torn by gravity.

Scattered now along its path,
Shattered to debris,
The dusty bits of comet core
Streak over land and sea.
By Kate Rauner

Thanks to space.com and the recent Lyrid Meteor Shower, but many other comets have been shattered into meteors. BTW, a “shower” with one or two meteors a minute is considered pretty intense. So pull up a lounge chair, settle in, and watch the sky.