Saturday, December 21, 2019

the locks of time, our sepulchre

A Close Encounter. 
This Hubble image from 2013 shows two interacting galaxies. NGC 2936 at top, once a standard spiral galaxy, and NGC 2937 below, a smaller elliptical galaxy. The pairing, known as Arp 142, bears a resemblance to a penguin guarding its egg. The gravitational chaos caused by the close interaction is twisting NGC 2936 and gradually tearing it apart. 
NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team, STScI / AURA

O night of admiration, full of choirs,
O night of deepest praise,
And darkness full of sweet delight! 
What secret and intrepid Visitor 
Has come to raise us from the dead?
He softly springs the locks of time, our sepulchre,
In the foretold encounter.

-Thomas Merton, "The Dark Encounter", Collected Poems, p. 113

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