NGC 2346: The Butterfly NebulaHe lay on the grass, a child tracing
a white camel, grey chamaeleon,
and pink lion in the clouds,
and never blinked while the Sun plunged.

As the grass cooled and dewed, he drew
a midnight-blue scorpion, centaur
and swan, casting his arm to connect
each polka-dot constellation.

Boy morphs into man. A scientist,
he probes nebulae—the Owl,
the Butterfly, and the Glowing Eye

—and exposes the invisible
as visible, casting ultraviolet
and infrared in the rainbow's palette.

Copyright © 2008, Megan M'Clure

Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Megan M'Clure grew up in Calgary, Canada, completed graduate studies at the University of Toronto, and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in relativity and cosmology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.