Sirius is looking straight up at Orion,
wondering why he’s not in the hunt.
He wants to run the ice and snow.
He wants to please the heroic hunter,
and leave this underworld above the Earth.
Beautiful, yes, but also arrogant and vain,
boasting that she and her daughter Andromeda
were more beautiful than the Nereids nymph-daughters.
Tonight, the Lady of the Chair reigns
not over Ethiopia but the North Star.
Orion’s belt is three sparkling blue-white stars.
I still can’t see the constellating images
of the ancients, but for that belt.
His shield a vague curve, his knee,
Rigel, blue supergiant anonymously leading his lunge.
The mathematics told him that the star
was beyond the Milky Way, whole galaxies
beyond ours, but a young girl tending sheep
long before him looked into the night sky
and knew there was something unseen beyond.
Astronomer Edwin Hubble announced the discovery of other galaxies beyond the Milky Way in 1924. Before he made his discovery, everyone thought that our Milky Way galaxy was the only galaxy in the universe, and that there wasn’t much outside it besides the Magellanic Clouds, which were thought to be clouds of gas or dust. We know now that the Magellanic Clouds are really dwarf galaxies. He renamed the Andromeda Nebula the “Andromeda galaxy,” and he went on to discover 23 more separate galaxies. Within a few years of Hubble’s discovery, most astronomers came to agree that our galaxy is just one of millions.