Saturday, April 22, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #22 - The Sun-Earth Connection

View of the sunrise from the International Space Station.
Today's prompt celebrates both Earth Day and the day of the Science March.  The prompt centers around the connection between our Sun and our Earth.  This is not as clinical a prompt as it might seem at first - for example, poets have long been writing about sunrises, sunsets, and seasons.  All are phenomena that stem from the Earth's relationship with a nice, bright star. 

In the early 1600's, Galileo found himself at odds with the Roman Catholic church when he said his telescopic observations (like the phases of Venus) were inconsistent with the Earth being at the center of the solar system.  This was critical evidence for the change from the paradigm of the Ptolemaic system (with the Earth at the center of the solar system) to the Copernican system (which is centered on the Sun.) 

The energy from the Sun drives many cycles on our Earth, such as the water cycle.  So you can blame the Sun-Earth connection for rainy days, as well as other weather phenomena such as storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.  Without the charged particles streaming off of the Sun, which subsequently hit our Earth's magnetic field, there would be no aurora.  The geometry of the Earth, Moon, and Sun are also responsible for solar and lunar eclipses.  And of course life as we know it requires what the Earth has to offer, such as liquid water, as well as the abundant energy of the Sun.

Here is an excerpt from the poem "Ah! Sun-flower" by William Blake

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done.

Prompt #22:  Choose some aspect of the Sun-Earth connection and write a poem.  Consider which of the societal, cultural, historic, or spiritual, or scientific aspects of the Sun-Earth connection resonate with you.  What if the Earth had been paired with a much different star?  What would happen if there was too much sunlight?  What if the Sun became dim or disappeared?  Consider topics as varied as: using solar power, getting skin cancer from overexposure to the sun, the worship of Sun deities, the the fear of the nighttime absence of the Sun, telling time with a sundial, and the eventual fate of the Sun and the Earth.

For something more specific, try writing about the Sun-Earth connection without mentioning the name of Sun or Earth directly.

As usual, I'll be exploring this topic through sci-fi, horror, or fantasy.

Did you use this or one of our other prompts? You can post your poem in our comments, if you like.

Happy Writing!

Prompts crafted by:
J.A. Grier, Senior Scientist and Education Specialist, Planetary Science Institute
Amy Grier, Managing Editor, Solstice Literary Magazine
Image Credits:  Sunrise.  ISS.  NASA.

No comments: