Tuesday, February 28

The 7 new Planets

Given NASA has discovered 7 potential Earth-similar planets orbiting a star only 40 light-years away I have posted Gustav Holst - The Planets, which was first composed in 1914. It was highly controversial then with its evocative blend of mystery, majesty, terror and serenity, just as it continues to enthrall todays appreciative audiences.        
I have also composed a poem about the universe as per below:

Whispering Spheres
As red rays of sunset cast their fading light
Surrender to the stars that shimmer at night, 
From planets far beyond our Saturn’s ring    
Are we from the stars, our eternal spring?               

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens in explosion and storm
May peace be your energy from the dreamtime? 

May the moon beams caress your delicate skin
Formed first from star dust, planets next of kin?   
Why ponder a fear, like a child in distress   
When the infinite holds no need for redress        

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens in explosion and storm
Peace be your energy from the dreamtime ? 

The dawn approaches, tis our daybreak
Birds in their chorus, a new day awake
Refreshed, now, on their merry way
Pray open thinking, for all to- day

Whispering spheres of a neo light form
Spiritual heavens in explosion and storm
Peace be our energy from the dreamtime ?  


susan said...

Thanks for posting that favourite suite by Holst. Did you know 'The Planets' was inspired by his strong interest in astrology?

You've written a fine and most inspirational poem to highlight the exciting news about the discovery of another solar system. Funny how forty light years seems almost close, isn't it? I love to read about science and I'm a big fan of hard science fiction, but I don't see our race as ever being star travellers - not physically, anyway.

All the best

Halle said...

Thank you for that version of The Planets Lindsay. One of the first LPs I purchased as a youth was The Planets performed by the New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult, the conductor who gave the work its premiere back in 1918.

The video you chose, with Andre Previn conducting, is very reminiscent of that old recording. Interestingly, the work was not meant to be about the planets themselves, but those characteristics astrological in the title of each section. So, for instance, Mars, The Bringer of War has a relentless brutality about it right up until the end where some conductors race through. This version and Boult's both capture the horror of war so well. I never tire of hearing the whole work, as you can probably tell!

Thank you for that uplifting poetry too.

I hold out very little hope that humankind shall ever make contact of any sort with those far off, newly revealed planets. Forty years each way to send a message, even if we knew the language!

Let's see - the fastest space craft so far travels 58,536 km/h, and so, if my calculation is correct, it would take that rocket just over 5 hours to travel one light second. For it to travel a light minute (x60), then a light hour (x60) again, then a light day (x24) then a light year (x365) brings me to 6, 734, 317 hours to go one light year... so to go 40 light years, that is almost 31, 000 years of travel to get there.

It is fun to dream and listen to beautiful music, isn't it?

All the Best to you,

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
Pleased to hear the Holst piece is one of your favourite suites. I didn’t know 'The Planets' was inspired by his strong interest in astrology.

I share your enthusiasm for science and it’s also not hard to appreciate why you’re a big fan of hard science fiction, whose remarkable plots and ethical dilemmas capture our imagination despite the likelihood of physical travel to emulate those intrepid star travellers seems very unlikely.

Bet wishes

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Halle
What a remarkable co incidence “The Planets” was one of the first LPs you purchased as a youth and the performance was reminiscent of the old recording. Thinking about your comment in retrospect the evocative music now makes more sense to me. So thanks for the background info about Mars, The Bringer of War which confirms those feelings I experienced.

I share your scepticism humankind will never make contact of any sort with those far off, newly revealed planets and thanks for confirming the numbers indicative of almost 31,000 years of travel to get there. These days I am prone to make mistakes when dealing with large numbers.

I agree, it’s fun to dream and listen to beautiful music, so next time, (which is tonight) as I listen to it again, if you feel a few appreciative vibes from cyber space you will know the source. Who knows one day we might meet up and enjoy a concert together and we could ask Susan to come along too.

Best wishes

Gary said...

Thanks Lindsay. These two lines alone would have been a post to remember for me:

May the moon beams caress your delicate skin
Formed first from star dust, planets next of kin?

As for contact with the extremely-likely other life forms in our neighborhood (light years to commute), perhaps they will have to find us. Or we'll find them through other means as science is able to 'see' more and more afar. Or maybe we'll have to be satisfied with poetry and our intrinsic connection with all our star dust kin.

I would love to go to space, even for a day - to look back and see our lovely marble as one astounding object in space. Apparently I may be living long enough for space tourism to become a reality, although I find it difficult to buy a ticket to New York to see my daughter, so I may not afford the fare.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Gary,
Glad the 2 lines resound well with you and yes indeed what a sight it would be to behold our “blue boy” planet earth from outer space. But as you say for the likes of our generation travel is only going to be that imagined in poetry and musical lyrics.
Best wishes.