supernova-factory

There is a time of day, in the evening, when the sun lays its head down in the dirt. Some people call this twilight. But I’ve always thought of it as “the magic hour.” When anything can happen, everything is golden, and I am a boy again. That is the place these poems occupy.

Jake Hurley’s photographs stunningly accentuate and are accentuated by the poems in this book. He is able to capture the magic in the ground, opening it for the sky to rest. Rustic, strange, and beautiful. These pictures will leave you warm, I have no doubt.

In this book you will find stars, you will find birds, you will find hearts, you will find a boyhood doing its best to stay present, and I hope, goodness gracious, you find a little magic.

Supernova Factory is a collection of poems by Dalton Day and photographs by Jake Hurley spanning 49 pages and months of hard work. It features full color photographs, a full-bleed cover on glossy 80# paper, and hand-sewn binding on each copy. $10 gets you a copy within the U.S., and a few bucks more for international. Shipping the last week of April (and onward). We can’t put into words how proud and excited we are to share this work with you. Magic indeed.

The Great Carina Nebula : A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxys largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic close-up reveals remarkable details of the regions central glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds. The field of view is over 50 light-years across. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the stars of open cluster Trumpler 14 . While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory. via NASA

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Goodness will always make me cry.

Today I got an envelope that held tea, a book full of stars, and a note from Dalton. “The patient pair of hands,” the inscription said, and my eyes filled with tears as I was walking through the post office parking lot.

Thank you for the book, Dalton. Thank you for your generosity and your beautiful words and your bravery in sharing them. It was well worth the wait.

Today: iced coffee & Supernova Factory. Freshly mown grass, filling up my fifth moleskine of the year, talking to people I love. Later, sushi with someone I’m proud to call a friend.

My heart is so full.

2013, y'all

I started 2013 by going back and forth to the hospital. My grandmother was incredibly sick, and everyone was stressed out and tired and half-ghosted most of the time. I thought this year would be nothing but mountains upon mountains, a year of huge changes. I was right. And goodness gracious if it wasn’t one of the most important years I’ve had on this planet of ours.

Poetry was wound so tight around 2013 its hard not to mistake it for pulse. It was my final semester of undergrad last spring. I wrote my final thesis/manuscript for creative writing. By which I mean I wrote a whole manuscript, and then scrapped it and started from scratch. I worked with some amazing folks in that class who put out amazing work, and it really got me to take poetry a lot more seriously. It was around this time I became friends with super-honey-spark-bear-poet Jeremy Radin, and he has helped and continues to help me so star-shatteringly much in who I am as a poet and a heart in a body. So, you know, love him forever.

I put out my very own poetry chapbook! Supernova Factory was brought hurtling into existence by Rachel, Clare, Wes and their very own supernova factory On the Cusp. Bless them and their support of me and giving this dream of mine some dancing shoes. I was able to have a book release party and these three drove all the way from Chicago to North Carolina to make it. So many friends of mine were there. It was magical in every since of the word and it remains the best night of this year. Thank you to Jake Hurley for allowing his unreal photos to roost in it. Oh, and it SOLD OUT. So if you bought a copy, thank you. If you wanted to buy a copy and couldn’t, I’m sorry, and thank you.

I graduated! It was hot. There were bees. And freaking Nikki Giovanni was our commencement speaker. It couldn’t have been better.

My twenty-second birthday was brought to living by one of my best friends/electro-choir, Emily and her mom. Thank you for the cake and thank you for the dancing and thank you for the love love love.

I celebrated two years of splitting the clocks with this lady, Ricky. Even though we are states apart, she keeps my feet an inch off the ground. She keeps me on the ground. She keeps my atmosphere intact. She lets the magic break its wings in order to grow new ones. She makes me laugh. She knows I talk too much. She reads my poems. She is a storm in a pocket. She is my girlfriend, and I love her.

I moved back home. I spent and still spend many days right now, alone. It’s been an interesting experience, one that I have come to appreciate a lot. I’ve been able to help out my parents and my grandmother. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with my five year-old cousin Madison, who is a comet-tailed-wolf. I’ve been able to write a lot, to grow a lot, and to develop a yearning to get out of here. Perhaps that’s still a ways off, but my very own 100 Years of Solitude has been important, I think. 

I had a few poems published. I became part of one of the raddest literary journals around, thanks to professional heart-tuner Rob Sturma. I got to see Janelle Monaé. I got to see The National. I read a lot of books. I got to listen to the new Beyoncé. I saw Jinkx Monsoon win RuPaul’s Drag Race. I saw and touched the hands of three famous drag queens. I went to Tennessee. I made new friends. I drove on my first long trip alone. I watched Breaking Bad. I applied to graduate school. My poems have been read and shared by so many of you. I love y'all. I cried. My grandmother got better. I laughed. I laughed. I laughed.

I made it. 

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2016 March 23 

The Great Nebula in Carina 

In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina, is home to massive stars and changing nebulas. The Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324), the bright structure just above the image center, houses several of these massive stars and has itself changed its appearance. The entire Carina Nebula spans over 300 light years and lies about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star in the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically. Eta Carinae is the brightest star near the image center, just left of the Keyhole Nebula. While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that much of the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory.

Ancient Supernova ‘Dust Factory’ Found in Galactic Core

Through the use of a monster telescope attached to a modified Boeing 747 jet, astronomers have discovered the dust of an ancient supernova near the center of the Milky Way.

This finding is unique in that it was thought the turbulent nature of an expanding supernova explosion should destroy this dust, but its presence provides a fascinating insight as to why many galaxies appear to be dust-rich, adding critical detail to star and planet-formation theories. More info

I mailed the last copy of this today. This simple book. A year ago this book was released & I knew I could do this poetry thing. This affirmation that my work was necessary. So much magic came out of this. I met three beautiful lanterns who are some of the best friends I’ve got. I met many more lanterns thanks to the invisible city this digital age allows. I am so thankful for the fields which this brought, and the fields it continues to bring. If you got a copy of this, thank you. If you tried to get a copy of this, thank you. If you’ve read my work, written me a message, or shared one of my poems, thank you. Onward to whatever sky lies next. 

The Great Nebula in Carina

(via APOD; Image Credit & Copyright: Damian Peach/SEN )

In one of the brightest parts of Milky Way lies a nebula where some of the oddest things occur. NGC 3372, known as the Great Nebula in Carina, is home to massive stars and changing nebulas. The Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324), the bright structure just above the image center, houses several of these massive stars and has itself changed its appearance. The entire Carina Nebula spans over 300 light years and lies about 7,500 light-years away in the constellation of Carina. Eta Carinae, the most energetic star in the nebula, was one of the brightest stars in the sky in the 1830s, but then faded dramatically. Eta Carinae is the brightest star near the image center, just left of the Keyhole Nebula. While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that much of the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory.

A Supernova Duet in NGC 1448

Portrayed in this beautiful image is the spiral galaxy NGC 1448, with a prominent disc of young and very bright stars surrounding its small, shining core. Located about 60 million light-years away from the Sun, this galaxy has recently been a prolific factory of supernovae, the dramatic explosions that mark the death of stars : after a first one observed in this galaxy in 1983, two more have been discovered during the past decade.

Visible as a red dot inside the disc, in the upper right part of the image, is the supernova observed in 2003 (SN 2003hn), whereas another one, detected in 2001 (SN 2001el), can be noticed as a tiny blue dot in the central part of the image, just below the galaxy’s core. If captured at the peak of the explosion, a supernova might be as bright as the whole galaxy that hosts it.

This image was obtained using the FORS instrument mounted on one of the 8.2-metre telescopes of ESO’s Very Large Telescope on top of Cerro Paranal, Chile. It combines exposures taken through three filters (B, V, R) on several occasions, between July 2002 and the end of November 2003. The field of view is 7 arcminutes.

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Credit: ESO

The story begins on a rooftop. You lay on your back, shingles digging into your shoulders like asphalt. The girl next to you is throat-catching danger like laying in the middle of the road to count stars.

The girl next to you is counting stars. She rolls over, looks you in the eyes. Says, ‘tell me all the constellations you know. Tell me the truest thing you know.’

Somehow her eyes are capturing the glint of starlight. You tell her 'the Big Dipper.’ You tell her, 'all of this is just old light.’ You tell her, 'there is a supernova factory inside your eyes.’

In this version of the story, she doesn’t roll over away from you. In this version of the story, she builds a house inside her heart with a safety deposit box where she stores your words.

The story begins on a roof. It’s July. Her legs are flushed from sun. Your cheeks are flushed from looking at her legs. You lie there next to her on that rooftop. She is counting stars. You are counting fireflies. She keeps her eyes on the sky.

This is the version of the story where you kiss her on the 4th of July. Red, white, blue, and her lips on yours. You pretend the fireworks are celebrating the two of you. You give her a mason jar full of fireflies and tell her it’s the closest you could get to stars. Tell her they’re all shooting, all full of wishes as big as her imagination. In this version of the story, she grins. She doesn’t look away. She doesn’t let the mason jar shatter and she knows those wishes are too valuable to let them escape. She doesn’t break your heart in this version.

This time, her heart isn’t tattooed with a road map leading away from you. You are more than just another stamp in her old passport. In this version, you are the end point, the destination. You are enough for her.

  • Supernova Dust Factory

    This image shows the remnant of Supernova 1987A seen in light of very different wavelengths. ALMA data (in red) shows newly formed dust in the centre of the remnant. Hubble (in green) and Chandra (in blue) data show the expanding shock wave.

    Image: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/A. Angelich. Visible light image: the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. X-Ray image: The NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory [high-resolution]

    Caption: ESO

New Views of Famed Supernova Reveal Cosmic Dust Factory

New views from a giant radio telescope in Chile are revealing massive amounts of dust created by an exploding star for the first time.

Scientists used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile to make the discovery while observing supernova 1987A, an exploded star in the Large Magellanic Cloud–a dwarf galaxy companion of the Milky Way located about 168,000 light-years from Earth.

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Supernova’s super dust factory imaged with ALMA

Galaxies can be remarkably dusty places and supernovas are thought to be a primary source of that dust, especially in the early Universe. Direct evidence of a supernova’s dust-making capabilities, however, has been slim and cannot account for the copious amount of dust detected in young, distant galaxies.

Striking new observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope capture, for the first time, the remains of a recent supernova brimming with freshly formed dust. If enough of this dust makes the perilous transition into interstellar space, it could explain how many galaxies acquired their dusty, dusky appearance.

“We have found a remarkably large dust mass concentrated in the central part of the ejecta from a relatively young and nearby supernova,” said Remy Indebetouw, an astronomer with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the University of Virginia, both in Charlottesville. “This is the first time we’ve been able to really image where the dust has formed, which is important in understanding the evolution of galaxies.”

The results are being reported at the January meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). They also are accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

An international team of astronomers used ALMA to observe the glowing remains of supernova 1987A, which is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way approximately 168,000 light-years from Earth. Light from this supernova arrived at Earth in 1987, inspiring its name. This makes 1987A the closest observed supernova explosion since Johannes Kepler’s observation of a supernova inside the Milky Way in 1604.

Astronomers predicted that as the gas cooled after the explosion, large amounts of molecules and dust would form as atoms of oxygen, carbon, and silicon bonded together in the cold central regions of the remnant. However, earlier observations of 1987A with infrared telescopes, made within the first 500 days after the explosion, detected only a small amount hot dust.

With ALMA’s unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, the research team was able to image the far more abundant cold dust, which glows brightly in millimeter and submillimeter light. The astronomers estimate that the remnant now contains about 25 percent the mass of our Sun in newly formed dust. They also found that significant amounts of carbon monoxide and silicon monoxide have formed.

“1987A is a special place since it hasn’t mixed with the surrounding environment, so what we see there was made there,” said Indebetouw. “The new ALMA results, which are the first of their kind, reveal a supernova remnant chock full of material that simply did not exist a few decades ago.”

Supernovas, however, can both create and destroy dust grains.

As the shockwave from the initial explosion radiated out into space, it produced bright glowing rings of material, as seen in earlier observations with the Hubble Space Telescope. After hitting this envelope of gas, which was sloughed off by the progenitor red giant star as it neared the end of its life, a portion of this powerful explosion rebounded back toward the center of the remnant. “At some point, this rebound shockwave will slam into these billowing clumps of freshly minted dust,” said Indebetouw. “It’s likely that some fraction of the dust will be blasted apart at that point. It’s hard to predict exactly how much – maybe only a little, possible a half or two thirds.”

If a good fraction survives and makes it into interstellar space, it could account for the copious dust astronomers detect in the early Universe.

“Really early galaxies are incredibly dusty and this dust plays a major role in the evolution of galaxies,” said Mikako Matsuura with the University College London. “Today we know dust can be created in several ways, but in the early Universe most of it must have come from supernovas. We finally have direct evidence to support that theory.”


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The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

TOP IMAGE…This is a composite image of supernova 1987A. ALMA data (in red) shows newly formed dust in the center of the remnant. HST (in green) and Chandra (in blue) show the expanding shockwave.
Credit: Alexandra Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA Hubble; NASA Chandra

LOWER IMAGE…This artist’s illustration of supernova 1987A reveals the cold, inner regions of the exploded star’s remnants (in red) where tremendous amounts of dust were detected and imaged by ALMA. This inner region is contrasted with the outer shell (lacy white and blue circles), where the energy from the supernova is colliding with the envelope of gas ejected from the star prior to its powerful detonation.
Credit: Credit: Alexandra Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

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5 Awesome Stars You Won't Believe Science Class Left Out

Space is fucking amazing and terrifying and truly the most extraordinary thing we have. Stars are the residents. Stars are the books. Stars are the quicksilver music machines, and space is the fingers which play them so gorgeous. 

I am an astronaut in the heart of an astronomer. Strike that, reverse it. I am a telescope watching a satellite. I am a magician learning the constellations. Teach me orbit. Teach me light. The dress the universe wears is the softest material, sequined and blooming beyond any clock we’ve got. 

Also, concerning #1 on this list. If you google, “supernova factory,” I am the third result.

Supernova Factory Release Party!

I realize a lot of you are a whole heckuva far away from this, but I will be officially releasing my FIRST SMALL COLLECTION OF POETRY, Supernova Factory, tomorrow evening! There are going to be a lot of feelings raining down there, and my friends Baby Rattlesnakes will be opening for me! If you don’t know them, check them out on Bandcamp!


Where: At Apothecary in Downtown Asheville, NC

When: Seven P.M. Tomorrow!

Why: Because I love y'all and I’d love to meet folks I don’t know!


Also! If you haven’t ordered a copy and would like to, go to
http://onthecuspzine.bigcartel.com/product/supernova-factory-dalton-day-jake-hurley ! I think at the moment we have sold out, but the second printing should be under way in the future!


Again, love to see any and all of you come out tomorrow. And thank y'all so much for reading, and just bringing the whole dang sun down into my hands. Nothing but love on my end.