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Guide Star: A Poem

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The Laser Guide Star system is switched on at the Very Large Telescope Array in Chile. Photo Credit: Yuri Beletsky, Wikimedia Commons.

A poem by Kenny Shen

“Three…two…one…

Laser’s on!”

A switch is thrown, and

A blinding beam screams from the telescope,

Piercing the tranquil night sky.

A blazing beacon of photons,

Reaching into the heavens.

Traveling 186,000 miles a second,

Broadcast by inquiring minds,

Making its lonely sojourn,

Into the infinite, icy blackness beyond.

What’s out there?

Stars, galaxies, nebulae,

A heavenly realm beyond our own,

Wheeling above the sky.

With so many unanswered questions,

So many mysteries,

Concealed within its shimmering folds.

The point of light

A thirst for knowledge,

A cry for understanding,

From beings on a planet one,

Orbiting a minor sun.

. . . .

Equipped with our five senses,

We explore

The universe around us.

And we call the adventure,

Science.

Lines 22-23 adapted from “Scientist’s Psalm” by Walt Hearn.

Last stanza is adapted from a quote by Edwin Hubble.

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