When You Wish (the Pain Away) Upon a Star

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When You Wish (the Pain Away) Upon a Star – Sebastian Roizner Rodriguez

My goal in this project was to better understand the beauty of how stars die, with a concentration in massive stars that eventually become supernovas. Stars with cores that have masses between 1.4 and 2.8 times the size of the sun, have the ability to fuse beyond helium, just as stars that become black holes do. This leaves behind a neutron star, which has the same mass as the sun with a diameter of only around twenty kilometers. Twenty kilometers is less than the distance from New Haven to Bridgeport, CT. Supernovas shine brighter than anything else in the universe and leave behind beautiful “ghosts” (as I like to think of them) called supernova remnants (Plait et al). One of the most famous supernovas from history was the Crab Nebula. This was first recorded back on July 4,1054 and has a diameter of roughly ten light-years. The Crab Nebula has grasped scientists’ interests and has been intensely studied for years (NASA).

Besides us directly studying supernovas in class, I feel as though the entirety of this class was to find the beauty and art in science. From the first day, I was struck by the brilliance of supernovas. The appeared to me as space was the canvas, the stars the artists, and the supernova remnant was the art left behind. These phenomenal colors and impressive designs give me the same chills as one of Jackson Pollock’s pieces does. I needed to improve my understanding of these astounding works. These leads into why I chose the medium I did: poetry. I feel as though while examining supernovas I could not lose track of the bases for science: questioning. My desire to learn more and desire to explain needed to be at the forefront of my art. Science is curiosity and disappointment and failure. It is not just these magnificent photos we see. There is so much beyond that photo. I wanted to tell a story and relate it to my own life. I wanted to see the application of the death of these stars to the death we experience here on earth. This project was a little selfish on my behalf, I will admit, because I did it cathartically. The questions I pose and the ideas I discuss are what I have struggled with and continue to struggle in attempting to explain. It is the thoughts that I generally push very far down within myself, because they are tough to grapple with. Rob Cowen talked about the amazement Stan Woolsey felt and I used a very similar attitude when writing this spoken word piece and his feeling of the universe being created for the child within himself. I feel it is that very intrigue in science that is so often lost on people.