Poetry in Planetary Motion

A new study, which found that the Earth and the Moon are drifting apart, inspired a science communicator to write this poem.

To Sam Illingworth, a senior lecturer in science communication at Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K., this orbital dance had a certain poetry to it, which he was inspired to put into verse. Here’s the poem he posted on his blog. It’s entitled “We are Drifting Apart”.

Within the unformed chaos of our past,

You pushed and pulled at creases in our skin;

The time we had was short but built to last,

A close embrace that caused our world to spin.

But layers of rock hide secrets deep within,

And map a future where we drift apart.

The strength of our connections ebb and thin,

So that we have more time than at the start;

But what’s the use of time without your counterpart.

Illingworth, who gave us permission to republish the poem here, said, “I found this research to be both fascinating and also a fabulous example of truly interdisciplinary work. Something to excite, educate, and inspire in equal measure. I hope that my poem captures some of the beauty of the research and that it inspires others to read the science in full, and to further consider the important relationship between our Earth and our Moon


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