If a star has between 1.35 and 2.1 times the mass of the Sun, it doesn’t form a white dwarf when it dies. Instead, the star dies in a catastrophic supernova explosion, and the remaining core becomes a neutron star. As its name implies, a neutron star is an exotic type of star that is composed entirely of neutrons. This is because the intense gravity of the neutron star crushes protons and electrons together to form neutrons. If stars are even more massive, they will become black holes instead of neutron stars after the supernova goes off.
This is a neutron star. The rings around the star represent the high intensity magnetic field lines. Neutron stars are typically only about 12 miles long but contain more density then a hundred suns.
Juan Felipe Herrera, 68, is the son of immigrant farmworkers from Mexico. He was born in California and lives there with his wife and children but is in Washington regularly for his position.Is this a good time to be a poet?It’s always a good time to be a poet. At this particular moment the world is going through major shifts. Major political shifts, social shifts, cultural shifts. And it’s good to observe the world, to respond to it. So this is a great time, not necessarily for us as poets to fill our books with “great” observations. It’s more like responding and providing, in many ways, consolation.
How do you see your role as U.S. poet laureate?
It’s kind of a multi-role. I have a great time at the Library of Congress with the team there that assists me. Without them I’d just be a washing machine walking down the street and falling apart. So I want people to connect with the Library of Congress. It’s for you, it’s all for you. My other role is to remind the American people that they have the most worthy, significant, beautiful, brilliant voice. And without it what would our lives be? We need it. Silence erodes our lives. It erases our lives. I want them to ask questions. To speak up. To ask what you feel is most important to you right now.
Is there a time when you feel least like a poet?
Oh, a poet is all of us in a way, so it’s hard to say there’s a time when you’re not a poet. A poet means you’re human. It really means you’re looking around and responding to reflections. Reflections of things that stop you cold, of things that pull you in.
You wrote a poem called “Don’t Worry, Baby “ that includes the line, “I worry about people who say, ‘Don’t worry, Baby.’ “ Are you worried?
Yeah, I get worried. I have a degree in worrying. I work on it as much as I can, and writing keeps me away from all that stuff. All the itchy social ills. When I’m writing, I kind of get calmer. When I write, all is well. That’s what I find very positive. I find a lot of peace. But yeah, I’m a worrywart.
Your parents were migrant workers. What would they think of you becoming the poet laureate?
My father passed away when I was 16 and my mother when I was 36. My mother was the one who encouraged me. Sang songs since I was a child. Recited poems to me. She liked to stand up and applaud and smile. She would be super thrilled and happy. My father, he was a hardcore worker of the earth, really. He would wonder how on Earth I could do this without working in the blistering heat. What are you doing? Put your hands in the earth, come on! You’re using a pen? Wow, that’s incredible. But he’d probably look at me and smile.
We’re in this turbulent time, and America feels fractured. Is there a poem that would be particularly useful for our country to read right now?
Well, for sure [Walt] Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” I would also read poems by the great Chinese poet Bai Juyi. Quiet observations of nature and self. And I would read “Memory Foam,” a book of poems by Adam Soldofsky. Such a quiet, personal, deep, philosophical, unflinching, peaceful voice.
Where winter ends and spring begins
white plum willow green
break the monotony
of brown and grey,
magnolias open like hands
asking nothing, offering all …
Beak wing and claw gather
twig cloth limb and stick
the magpie nestling.
In the waking hills
feral cats hunt and fatten.
A white haze of mountain sky
falls to earth
the foggy breath of an imperial dragon –
There is meaning
in every motion or change
the momentary violets pushing into light
the old trap of time letting go –
Is the coming of joy and more pain
worth the space I take?
Is the choice free…
I don’t know, but hold as seasons
this eternal spring
waking a world to all that is possible
I was to ride a dirt bike up a steep mountain, but I walk alone.
An odd-ball woman on the path looks like she’d lived
A thousand years on the craggy summit,
We pass each other without a word, her eyes glow like red novae.
A span of rope-bridge leading into mist…
My hands clinging, feet stepping in pain
The mist clears, a rope snaps, falling… a parachute opens
I float into a deserted drive-in movie now a dental office.
Two aides seat me in an electric chair -Not good- They take my hands
“This won’t hurt.” says one, “Much.” says the other.
“We can’t put you under, so imagine you’re God, you won’t feel a thing.”
A white scorpion crawls up my leg.
Two teenage dentists enter, one guy pins me down
The other opens an incision in my chest, a red hibiscus blooms… in my mouth.
“I thought you were a dentist.” I say. “I lied.” he says.
“I’m gonna cut your heart out and feed it to The Others.”
“Gee thanks.” “I don’t really need it.” — Passing out
If you have a few minutes, listen toCristian Mihai’s “How to Get Stuff Done”. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It lifted my spirits on a stormy day. He also has books and art out and if the books are anything like the art, they could be really fantastic!