|By ESO/Yuri Beletsky via Wikimedia Commons|
Scientists announced at audio lab
a connection leaving today.
They are using a laser beam to nab
electricity from the Milky Way.
They haven’t said, but I’m wondering why
we can’t use the power at home.
I hope that our stars stay bright in the sky
And the scientists stop laser roam.
© Linda Baie, 2013
Yepun’s laser beam crosses the southern sky and creates an artificial star at an altitude of 90 km high in the Earth's mesosphere. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) is part of the VLT’s adaptive optics system and is used as a reference to correct the blurring effect of the atmosphere on images. The colour of the laser is precisely tuned to energise a layer of sodium atoms found in one of the upper layers of the atmosphere — one can recognise the familiar colour of sodium street lamps in the colour of the laser. This layer of sodium atoms is thought to be a leftover from meteorites entering the Earth’s atmosphere. When excited by the light from the laser, the atoms start glowing, forming a small bright spot that can be used as an artificial reference star for the adaptive optics. Using this technique, astronomers can obtain sharper observations. For example, when looking towards the centre of our Milky Way, researchers can better monitor the galactic core, where a central supermassive black hole, surrounded by closely orbiting stars, is swallowing gas and dust."
We'll follow the same pattern of media this week as the last two: Monday: Picture of the Year, Tuesday: Featured Picture (new category), Wednesday: Video, Thursday: Famous Art, Friday: Audio, Saturday: Potluck, Sunday: Animation.
I will be using the media to inspire my poetry, but I am going to invite my students to use my daily media picks to inspire any original creation: poems, stories, comics, music, videos, sculptures, drawings...anything!
You are invited to join the fun, too! Leave a link to your creation in the comments and I'll add it to that day's post. I'll add pictures of my students' work throughout the month as well.