Ode to Stars

The stars are gentle yet overpowering. Their appearance from earth is that of gentle light. It is almost not enough to see by and has spoken to the imagination of eternity, fantasy, and beauty through the ages. The stars are the destination of our aspirations and the chronicles of stories. In stories, their light is the source of magic and power their positions the determination of our fates and futures. They are both light in the darkness and the entrance to the realm of the fey. For me symbolically, their silver light contrasts the light of the sun. They are mystery, unfathomable, untouched by the rational. On the other hand, stars are unfathomably powerful, interesting, and thoroughly predicable through science. Massive so much that they fuse elements in their cores, performing true alchemy. They produce so much energy that we can see them multitudinous light years and parsecs away. Their life cycles result in the most impressive and fascinating objects in the universe from white dwarves to supernovae, neutron stars, and even black holes. They are the source of all heavier elements in the universe and the building blocks for everything that we have. They provide light and energy in the emptiness of space. They host planets, vie with each other for supremacy, and even encounter epic matches of will between cataclysmic variables and black holes. On top of all of this, they are beautiful in a way that is combined with what we have actually observed and what can only be pictured with the mind’s eye because of their scale. The pictures of Hubble caught me at a very young age. Here is the actual, observed stars and objects of the universe in all of their glory and beauty, yet the true nature and scale of what is observed is only seen through interstellar journeys of the imagination.