-astropoem by Andrei Dorian Gheorghe-

SN 2011 dh in M51
Photo by Matei Conovici

Canes Venatici is a constellation
which makes me think of
the dynamics of the sky
in the people’s vision.

Thus, in the 2nd century
its brightest star was for Claudius Ptolemy
a part of Ursa Major
(as if the Great Chariot
was not long enough).

But properly the constellation of the Hunting Dogs
of Bootes the Herdsman
was designed much later,
in the 17th century,
by Johannes Hevelius,
and its brightest star (in fact, a double star)
was named soon after as
Cor Caroli Regis Martyris
by Sir Charles Scarborough
in the memory of King Charles I,
who had had a tragic destiny before.
(Do you remember Alexandre Dumas’ musketeers,
who wanted to save him?)

From now on
we move to France,
where in the 18th century
Charles Messier discovered 4 galaxies and 1 globular cluster
in Canes Venatici,
the most spectacular object being
the Whirlpool Galaxy or M51.
(I think this is the only whirlpool
beloved by people).

A few years after,
Pierre Mechain discovered that
the Whirlpool Galaxy has a companion,
NGC 5195.
(If I would be a romantic
I would say
this seems to be
a perfect cosmic marriage between
a galaxy-man and a galaxy-woman).

And in 2011, May 31st
Stephane Lamott Bailey discovered a supernova in M51,
enrapturing the sky lovers from all over the world.

Photo by Lucian Hudin

I asked Cor Caroli
if it is envy to the glory of SN 2011 dh,
and it said to me:

“I don’t think so.
You know that
Arcturus, Spica, Denebra and I
compose the Diamond of Virgo,
so nothing can shade my privileged position.”

“Yes, but…”

“I am rather glad that
the earthlings can admire by telescope
another heavenly show
and I’m really sorry that for this,
in conformity with the universal laws,
I cannot pulsate more.”

ended Charles’ Heart.

Photo by Adrian Bruno Sonka

Photo by Maximilian Teodorescu

Photo by Alex Tudorica


Design: Florin Stancu
© 2011 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)