The Day They Discovered Gravitational Waves

Time was there were Han philosophers
standing on a hilltop at night
naming the Mansions of Heaven;
later, Galileo Galilei
weeping with joy at the moons of Jupiter.

Now, in sightless tunnels
beams from lasers have shivered
at ancient astral events –
and men and women around the world
pore over computations

in awe at the mathematics:
the Universe in its infancy
had arched its back and roared
and they can feel
the exhalation of its breath.

© John Looker 2016

Originally published at


”  The two LIGO gravitational wave detectors in Hanford Washington and Livingston Louisiana have caught a second robust signal from two black holes in their final orbits and then their coalescence into a single black hole. This event, dubbed GW151226, was seen on December 26th at 03:38:53 (in Universal Coordinated Time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time), near the end of LIGO’s first observing period (“O1”), and was immediately nicknamed ‘the Boxing Day event’.  “


Euclidean Shivers

     So, how does the Triangle
     relate to the Circle?    

     Euclid and a radius prove points
     that radiate from the center, a circle,
     a method to navigate space.

     Would this seem more real if we pulled
     ribbons from agreed upon place.
     perhaps the Maypole?

     Preoccupied with tangents and triangles,
     it is hard to visualize chords,
     a concordance, to be in accord.

     by Carol Dorf

Carol is a Maths teacher in California and is the poetry editor for TalkingWriting

Collected from JoAnne Growneys excellent Maths and Poetry blog

When Newton saw an apple fall

When Newton saw an apple fall, he found …
A mode of proving that the earth turnd round
In a most natural whirl, called gravitation;
And thus is the sole mortal who could grapple
Since Adam, with a fall or with an apple.

The Travelling Earth

In a twenty four hour cycle
The earth, like a top, will spin
Day is where the sunshine falls
Night is where the light has been.

The earth goes on another trip
It circles round the sun
It takes a year to make one lap
Four seasons, and it’s done.

Our seasons vary in their length
And in-ten-sity
With the height and distance from the poles
And influence of the sea.

For four and one half billion years
Mother earth she’s hard to tame
Because the chosen route is round
Things change, but stay the same.

–by Peter Elias

Collected from the excellent Windows to the Universe  site


An excellent poem using scientific imagery from Louis Faber:

an old writer and his words

We arose from water,
crawled forth and inhabited the land
and claimed dominion
and the land appeared
to cede itself to us,
knowing better
and caring even less.
We return to the water
feel its pull
but immerse ourselves
only partially, willing
to risk only half drowning,
the land and air
usually silent, knowingly
laugh for they know
that a fish
out of water
eventually drowns
in a sea of air.

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A topical Astronomy poem. We have an interstellar visitor in our Solar System folks:

The Cheesesellers Wife

Visitor from afar,
tracked by orbital telescopes
calculated trajectory indicating
an extra solar origin.
She is dropping past and zooming out.

Rock studded ice lump
possibly formed without a mother sun
in the darknesses between stars.
Interplanetary orphan,
we have only just spotted you.
Where are the others?

Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond

In honour of object A/2017 U1 , now visiting our solar system from who knows where.

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