WickedEye's Quotient

8/22/2007 at 23:59

What is intelligible is also beautiful.

{We defy augury.

There's a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all.

Since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is't to leave betimes?

Let be.1}

There’s one type of death {To stand in the sun and melt in the wind2}- one very special kind- that has enabled better observation and cataloguing of the universe we live in than any other kind of radiation, electronics, or stellar/dark matter phenomenon we yet know.

It is the quietus of a star, of course. Hydrogen, helium {Even in your world, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of3}, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon…

Normally the list would end there. But a white dwarf {On silver necklaces they strung/ the flowering stars- on crowns they hung/ the dragon-fire4}, slowly accreting matter from a partner swimming too close to its undead sibling, eventually reaches Chandrasekhar’s Limit, a mass at which degenerate pressure cannot keep the star expanded.

It collapses, the heat of its foundering {The foundering, foundering, beast-instructed mansion/ of love called into being by this same death/ hangs everywhere its light5} igniting fusion at its core, beginning again the elemental march towards iron as the star implodes and within a few seconds the core shrieks past blue-violet to invisibility at billions of degrees Kelvin, the temperature enough to unbind the star, unmake it utterly, its shockwave pressing the building nuclear deflagration to detonation.

And the star {Mica, mica, parva stella6} explodes.

And the galaxies surrounding it {The whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty7} are dimmed in its brilliance.

The same way. The same mass. The same {If the radiance of a thousand suns/ were to burst at once into the sky8} luminosity.

Every. Single. {The fire in which we burn9} Time.

We know what their absolute magnitude is. Therefore their apparent {We are each other’s magnitude and bond10} magnitude tells us how far away they are. How many megaparsecs away the galaxies containing them are. They are the most spectacular of the “standard candles”, objects used by astronomers to measure stellar distances.

Dying, destroyed, undone, the light they shed gives us more than physical {Life cannot be rightly seen in the sole light, cannot be perfectly lived in the sole power of its externalities11} illumination.

What the human mind, at its deepest and most profound, perceives as beautiful finds its realization in external nature… What is intelligible is also beautiful.
-Subramanian Chandrasekhar


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Blogger Reena said...

you have pulled it together beautifully! bravo!! somehow it makes us more than mere mortals.  


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