Tuesday, December 11, 2012

O great God, Father of all things

From the NASA Space Advent Calendar which is HERE.

 A Multi-Wavelength View of Radio Galaxy Hercules A. Spectacular jets powered by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole in the core of the elliptical galaxy Hercules A illustrate the combined imaging power of two of astronomy's cutting-edge tools, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and the recently upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico. Some two billion light-years away, the yellowish elliptical galaxy in the center of the image appears quite ordinary as seen by Hubble in visible wavelengths of light. The galaxy is roughly 1,000 times more massive than the Milky Way and harbors a 2.5-billion-solar-mass central black hole that is 1,000 times more massive than the black hole in the Milky Way. But the innocuous-looking galaxy, also known as 3C 348, has long been known as the brightest radio-emitting object in the constellation Hercules. Emitting nearly a billion times more power in radio wavelengths than our Sun, the galaxy is one of the brightest extragalactic radio sources in the entire sky. The VLA radio data reveal enormous, optically invisible jets that, at one-and-a-half million light-years wide, dwarf the visible galaxy from which they emerge. The jets are very-high-energy plasma beams, subatomic particles and magnetic fields shot at nearly the speed of light from the vicinity of the black hole. The outer portions of both jets show unusual ring-like structures suggesting a history of multiple outbursts from the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. The innermost parts of the jets are not visible because of the extreme velocity of the material, which causes relativistic effects that beam the light away from us. Far from the galaxy, the jets become unstable and break up into the rings and wisps. (NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O'Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the 
Hubble Heritage Team, STScI/AURA)

O great God, Father of all things, Whose infinite light is 
darkness to me, Whose immensity is to me as the void. 
You have called me forth out of Yourself because You love
me in Yourself, and I am a transient expression of Your
inexhaustible and eternal reality.

If I could not know You, I would be lost in this darkness,
I would fall away from You into this void, if You
did not hold me to Yourself in the Heart of Your only
begotten Son.

-Thomas Merton,  Thoughts in Solitude, p. 71


  1. Beth, how are you managing to find such perfect conjunctions of Thomas Merton's words with the NASA Advent Calendar?

    I am following this series in awe of the cosmos, Fr Louie's sublime insights and your creative inspiration!

    1. Merton wrote a lot! ( much to choose from). And maybe his words just naturally lend themselves to photos of outer space ...

    2. Usually though I have to choose between 3 or 4 poems, all of them seem to "fit".

  2. greetings beth
    and advent stuff

    my 2 cents
    a tribute 2 Tom and Woodchucks !

    I like 2 hide !
    i like to hide under the covers
    where it is warm and dark
    a place where there is no immages -
    hid from god
    who wants to meat god anyway ?
    i think that wood bee most terrifying -
    hide from the TV
    it keeps shooting at me
    till i am wounded and bloody -
    hide from my neighbor who is
    forever inviting me over
    4 coffee and tells how superior
    his religion is and
    the wisdom of his political views
    he makes a delicious cup of coffee -
    i am beginning to understand
    why woodchucks stay in there holes
    Amen !


    1. bob, enjoy your little nest.
      your honesty attests to a very pure spirit, whether you want it or not.
      your 2 cents is always refreshing.