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“I spy in the night sky, don’t I – “ Listening to old Blur, whilst showering away the day’s cares. I’ve got moon kittens on my mind.

For astrophysicists, the planet Saturn holds uncountable mysteries. Perhaps one of the cutest are the moon kittens, who are being born in Saturn’s rings. Of course, we’re not talking about literal kittens. The “kittens” are actually baby moons — or moonlets — which form after particles within the ring collide and clump together. Inspired by the purring satisfaction of the cat-loving portion of the research team, who chose names like Mittens and Fluffy for the moons, Gemma Mahadeo sent us this story. Would we have explored space sooner if there were kittens? // Alex Massey

//Gemma Mahadeo is a Melbourne-based writer, poet, and occasional musician from the U.K. She/they tweets as @snarkattack & @eatdrinkstagger.//

86

One hundred and thirty pinpricks barely raising an elongated “chirp!”. Our sky kens fireflies before we can see, hear, know them at all.

In Galaxy NGC 4993, two neutron stars exploded in a supernova, then were drawn into each others gravitational pull. They collided into each other at one-third the speed of light, creating one last gravitational wave. Then in October, 2017, scientists heard the echo of two neutron stars colliding, a giant explosion of matter about 130 million light-years away. Gemma Mahedeo takes this spark of inspiration and lights the way for astronomical poetry, taking an alternate route to the story seed created on this science by Dyani Sabin last month. // Alex Massey

//Gemma Mahadeo is a Melbourne-based writer, poet, and occasional musician from the U.K. She/they tweets as @snarkattack & @eatdrinkstagger.//

76

I left Earth to get away from her, but the galaxy had different plans. I tried to forget feeling, but galaxies are stronger. They merely BE.

It has been two decades since NASA’s Cassini spacecraft began its remarkable journey of exploration to Saturn. Last September, having expended almost all the rocket propellant it carried to Saturn, Cassini was sent on its final mission – a suicidal descent into the planet itself. An emotional Earth created tributes to the death of Cassini and today, hundreds of artists and storytellers have shared works inspired by them. The Vault is please to present Gemma Mahadeo’s story seed inspired by Cassini, a tale of travel through the universe and emotional connections. // Alex Massey

//Gemma Mahadeo is a Melbourne-based writer, poet, and occasional musician from the U.K. She/they tweets as @snarkattack & @eatdrinkstagger.//