ngc6388Working nights has a whole different set of implications and consequences when your employer is the Royal Navy and your country is at war.

Darkness fell, we breathed the cold night air,
The heat of the desert now turned an icy chill.
Trapped in a combat zone, no base for miles,
We knew they were coming and they were coming to kill.

The sergeant talked of serving his country,
And the corporal talked of his life back home.
The mood was sombre and our hearts were sad,
Our fate written in the stars in this desert alone.

The wait for the first rounds to come our way,
Was over quickly and bullets passed my head.
They fired with aggression and without pause,
I wished for life, but in this hell, I was better off dead.

Our ammo was low and we were surrounded,
Time was not our side as the full moon shone bright.
They kept on coming at us wave after wave,
Silent killers that stalked their prey in the night.

Still we kept on fighting, each man to his duty,
While guns blazed and bullets fell all around.
As bullets comrades fell,
Our blood soaked into the ground.

When morning came, we were tired and weary,
The shooting stopped and silence fell.
As the heat of the sun warmed our terrified faces,
We had all survived the night and a visit to our own hell.

The sergeant rallied his men and could only say “well done”,
While the corporal held a picture of his wife and cried.
As for me, the man I was, was left in the desert that night,
And I have the nightmares of the night I should have died.

Please, don’t try to find that man,
Or tell me I am not the man you knew,
I won’t be able to tell you,
So please don’t ask what it was that I went through.



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In this Chandra image of ngc6388, researchers have found evidence that a white dwarf star may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close. When a star reaches its white dwarf stage, nearly all of the material from the star is packed inside a radius one hundredth that of the original star.

The destruction of a planet may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but a team of astronomers has found evidence that this may have happened in an ancient cluster of stars at the edge of the Milky Way galaxy.

Using several telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, researchers have found evidence that a white dwarf star – the dense core of a star like the Sun that has run out of nuclear fuel – may have ripped apart a planet as it came too close.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations.

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/IASF Palermo/M.Del Santo et al; Optical: NASA/STScI


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