Pillars of Creation


Beyang Liu
Jan 12, 2015 · 2 min read

A few days ago, on the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA released a new photo of the Pillars of Creation, a massive dust and star formation in the Eagle Nebula that the Hubble had famously first captured in 1995. The new photo includes more of the surrounding region than its predecessor, and staring at it, I couldn’t help but notice a shape emerge.

Here’s a toast to the Hubble, on its 25th birthday:

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: ESA/Hubble

Out beyond our little bubble of air,
into the pitch, we peered with crystal eye,
and looked for truth—not where it lay, but where
the light was—in one corner of the sky.

And there we found the plumes of heaven’s clouds,
like smoke from embers burning white and red,
out where for light years stretch the ghostly shrouds
that swaddle stars newborn from heaven’s dead.

Yet discontent to see alone, our eye
perceives, makes purpose from the purposeless,
and on the fire of eternity
projects the yearning of Prometheus:

His crumbling hand still reaching—noble, flawed—
out of Eden to touch the face of God.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo credit: ESO

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store