Uranium poem by Janet Kuypers

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Uranium

Janet Kuypers

from the “ Periodic Table of Poetry” series

The sun really is an explosive thing.
With primarily hydrogen,
reacting with helium, carbon,
nitrogen and oxygen,
we can think of hydrogen bombs
and understand why the sun
has been able to keep us so warm
at such a far distance for so long.
But because we’ve got a powerhouse
at the center of our solar system,
our sun can even support
the heavier elements,
like gold or Uranium.

With the element Uranium named
after the planet Uranus,
the only planet named
after Greek mythology
for the god of the sky,
it’s aqua blue hue matches the sky
from it’s methane atmosphere…
Fluctuating seasons
from it’s 97 degree axis tilt,
this potentially dangerous planet
matches the metal element’s
danger to us here on earth.
So yeah, it makes sense
tat we use elements
like Uranium or Hydrogen,
elements the sun feeds off of,
to cause so much destruction
so close to home.

From hydrogen bombs
to the U.S. and the U.S.S.R
and third world countries looking
for Uranium for nuclear bombs,
even to depleted Uranium
as military ammunition
in “high-density penetrators”,
we’ll still look for ways to kill each other
with the elements at our disposal.

###

Wondering why our planet
has suffered mass extinctions
every 26 billion years or so,
with upwards of five extinctions
in this planet’s history
from dinosaurs to reptiles
to 96 percent of marine life
at one mass extinction event,
scientists can only guess
that comets traveling through space
caused these mass extinctions,
but no one knows for sure.

But some scientists theorized
that if comets have have long orbits,
hundreds of years,
Than a twin star to our sun
can have one even more immense.
Imagine our sun actually having
an undetected companion star
in a highly elliptical orbit…
They’ve called this as-of-yet
undetected red dwarf “Nemesis”.
And it would be our nemesis,
with an orbit so large, it would
periodically send comets
from the Oort cloud
into the inner Solar System
say, every 26 million years.

And it’s funny to think,
that if this were true,
this “Death Star” theory,
our “Nemesis”, this red dwarf star,
would travel through space,
but still be so undetectable to us,
because it’s wouldn’t even have the energy
to hold on to those heavy elements
like Uranium.
And even if this “Nemesis”
was a brown dwarf star,
it would then even be too low in mass
to even sustain hydrogen fusion.
But still, with just the right orbit,
it could send smaller
comet soldiers our way,
to let the little infantrymen
help do us in.

So, as I said before,
we’ll keep pointing our telescopes
to the night sky,
trying to keep ourselves safe
beyond our global borders,
while we use these same elements
like Uranium,
so we can threaten each other
out of existence,
in our little skirmishes
right here on earth.