|Saturn's moon, Daphis, tugs at particles in Saturn's ring and creates ripples. The moon's shadow is that spike at lower right, but the disrupted particles, above the plane of the rings, leave shadows too. The rings are only about 30 feet thick, Daphis is about 5 miles across. (Tom Harnish)|
by Gideon Burton
As though an errant comet came so close
to Saturn that it skimmed its glowing rings,
then plowed a rippling wave across those rows
of fragment moon shards-- hear the gases sing
as methane ice and iron scramble bands
of colors into graying clots of rubble,
igniting sparking embers in the grand
rotation which for eons knew no trouble.
So you have come, disrupting all my patterns,
disorbiting me with your fiery force.
I dart about like Mercury, not Saturn,
and everything is suddenly off course.
Astronomers in gaping awe are jealous:
if only those who loved them were as zealous.
Photo: flickr - TailspinT