M51 galaxy

M51 whirlpool galaxy

I’m not bashful about my fascination with equiangular spirals. My book has more than 75 references to spiraling geometries. Whirlpools.  Shells.  The spiraling of the heart muscle, and of the human skin pore.  The cochlea in all mammels.  Even DNA has been described as a dual spiral by no less than Buckmaster Fuller (who apparently shared my interest in the graceful spiral).

And of course, galaxies.  The spiral is quite obvious in the picture of M51—but wasn’t so obvious to the scientists looking at a dying red giant called R Sculptoris.

A mere 780 light years from Earth (practically right down the street … ), they’ve been looking a R Sculptoris through the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and were surprised to find a unique spiral structure in the images, possibly indicating an orbiting companion star …

Amazing, isn’t it?

Spiral in space

Spiral seen from ALMA telescope.