24 May 2010

Heart and Soul

As you can tell from several of my posts, I'm a sucker for astronomical images, especially those that display swirling ribbons of gas dotted with jewel-like stars, all sweeping across the sable backdrop of night.  I find them comparable to the finest abstract art. 

The latest is from NASA's WISE surveyor, an infrared telescope in space with a wide-field view.  The picture above covers an area of the sky ten times as wide as the full Moon.  Captured, with such pleasurable delight, are the Heart and Soul nebulae.  The "Heart" is on the left, aptly named for its resemblance to the human heart.  It was inevitable that its companion on the right would be pegged the "Soul."  They're both part of the Perseus arm of our spiraling galactic home, the Milky Way. 

What you are viewing are giant bubbles, formed by the fierce radiation and winds generated by the new stars, less than a few million years old, being formed within the nebulae. 

Given that the Cat's Paw nebula mentioned in an earlier post included a poem, this one deserves Frank Loesser's lyrics to the song instinctively plunked out by every would-be musician sitting down at a piano:

Heart and soul, I fell in love with you,
Heart and soul, the way a fool would do,
Because you held me tight,
And stole a kiss in the night....

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

1 comment:

  1. Lovely...hard to imagine, so dynamic! Thank you!