Cosmic Bat Shadow

Feb 14
by Harley White

HarleyWhiteCosmicBatShadow 800


Many moons ago at a mountainous site,
near plummeting coast where I once used to dwell,
in a cabin secluded I passed the night,
overtaken with fright as the darkness fell,

for what should I hear but a weird flapping sound,
that pierced through the pillows enshrouding my head,
amidst a commotion of flying around,
as alone I lay all ashiver with dread…

Looking back, somehow I never suspected
that there would be bats hanging out in that shack,
or shed, as it were, hence I was subjected
to netherworld nightmares within the pitch-black.

Those creatures have bred many legends bizarre
of witchcraft or devilry through the ages
nocturnally haunting us where’er they are
in yarns macabre on myriad pages.

Thus, delirious gazers might be surprised
when faced with gargantuan shadow of one
with a wingspan outstretched, outlandishly sized,
like nothing conceivable under the sun. 

This colossal umbra is light-years afar,
one thousand three hundred, by planet-making
disk generated from a luminous star,
where new worlds aplenty may be awaking.

In the Serpens Nebula it can be seen,
though invisible even to Hubble’s eyes,
by the shadow play casting that bat-like mien
from the grouping viewed edge-on in cosmic skies.

It looms in image in the quadrant top right,
surrounding star HBC six seven two.
Since the astral youngster is brilliantly bright,
its light can trespass debris ring and shine through.

That specter extends two hundred times nearly
the length of our Sun’s planetary domain,
outranging the spookiest tall tales clearly
or beings in Brobdingnagian terrain.

Could our solar system have resembled this
at the stage of only two million years old?
Anyway, so astronomers reminisce,
as the cosmic story unfolding is told…

This jewel of a realm where earthlings reside
is abounding with life forms from pole to pole.
In the forests and sapphire seas they abide,
each striving to play a particular role.

All animals certainly merit respect
whatever their species, including the bat,
as entities sentient we ought to protect,
but I’d prefer spending the night with a cat!

 ~ Harley White

* * * * * * * * *

Inspiration was derived from the following sources...

‘Gulliver’s Travels’ ~ by Jonathan Swift ~ Part II: A Voyage to Brobdingnag…

Image and info ~ Cosmic shadow of HBC 672…

Image and info ~ Hubble Reveals a Giant Cosmic ‘Bat Shadow’…

Image and info ~ Hubble reveals a giant cosmic “Bat Shadow”…

Image, info, and video ~ Hubble Space Telescope Sees Cosmic ‘Bat Shadow’…

This image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the Serpens Nebula, a stellar nursery about 1300 light-years away. Within the nebula, in the upper right of the image, a shadow is created by the protoplanetary disc surrounding the star HBC 672. While the disc of debris is too tiny to be seen even by Hubble, its shadow is projected upon the cloud in which it was born. In this view, the feature — nicknamed the Bat Shadow — spans approximately 200 times the diameter of our own Solar System…

Credit: NASA, ESA, and STScI



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