Comments: Several months ago I read a fascinating book entitled Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage by Chet Raymo (ISBN: 1-886913-11-0). The book is filled with an amazing abundance of information regarding the universe. In some ways more questions are raised than answered. His elegant essays are linked to literature, religion, anthropology, and history. A wonderful read! In one of the chapters he briefly discussed NGC 4151 and the awesomeness of black holes. I knew I had to write a poem about these 'unfathomable demons.' It took me several months to create the poem you have just read. There were many rewrites. The accompanying picture is of the galaxy NGC 4151.
Correction: A very knowlegeable reader from Granada informed me that the picture above is NOT NGC 4151 and sent me a correct link. Below is NGC 4151. Here is a brief portion of the fascinating email, "NGC 4151 is an old friend galaxy of mine...the late Michael V. Penston, was the first to measure the mass of the black hole in this galaxy, some twenty years ago. We worked together in this favourite for some time. Because it is the nearest Seyfert type 1 galaxy, there are many research works on its active nucleus. Unfortunately, it belongs to a class of galaxies whose main disk is extremely faint, so it is not very amenable to a 'nice' picture, unlike so many other spiral galaxies...Supermassive black holes are now known to be common place in the nuclei of many galaxies, but it remains a fact that Michael V. Penston weighed for the first time one, in the nucleus of NGC 4151." (Picture compliments
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