A Planet of a Planet?

January 5, 2010

When Mike Brown, co-discoverer of Eris, Haumea and Makemake spoke in Arizona a year ago last November, he displayed a graphic of the sky search completed by his team. He announced that they had now equaled the sky area searched by Clyde Tombaugh in his decades of diligent sky scanning. What was obvious were the “holes” in the search. Given the northern hemisphere location of the observing telescopes much of the southern skies could not be seen. Given the length of orbital periods of Kuiper Belt Objects, if an object holds a southern disposition by position, it could be decades before it would be detected. So, one of his original sky search partners, David Rabinowitz, headed for the mountain tops of Chile to fill in some of the celestial canopy not yet examined for Kuiper Belt bodies. Given the vastness of the remaining sky to be examined, there’s potentially a lot of yet unknown Kuiper Belt Objects – as well as stuff out near Sedna – to be found.

Mike Brown weighed in on 2009 YE7 last week. First, he noted the high inclination of the body and stated that even early in working to refine a body’s orbit, inclination is one of the more easily determined attributes (which is why the early nodal position typically remains reliable). The inclination of this body at 29 degrees is high as compared with the “norm” of bodies orbiting the Sun. And 29 degrees is very close to the 28.2 degree inclination of Haumea, once subject to a violent collision which scattered body parts in the Kuiper Belt. What’s more, the absolute magnitude of YE7 is close to that of Haumea.

Brown concluded that YE7 is likely a shrapnel remnant of the collision Haumea endured way back when. This means this body, like the ice chunks in Haumea’s orbit and her two moons, Hi’iaka and Namaka, is one of her offspring. As well, given a similar surface to Haumea, the object would not be as large as one might initially conclude from the measure of absolute magnitude. Brown issued a relatively simple test for astronomers down under with a view of the newly encountered body to confirm his speculation. To date, I have heard of no such confirmation and no doubt this will be confirmed soon.

Should Brown’s suspicion be confirmed, astrologers have an exciting new condition to consider: a planetary body that is not a satellite of another body born of another planet. It’s true that Triton was once a planet unto itself and ultimately the gravity of Uranus grabbed the planet, diminishing it to satellite status. But the YE7 issue is a whole new ball game.

Suggestively, the body would take the name of a Hawaiian deity or at least one of a Pacific Rim culture. I’m going to submit my vote for a Maori name. They were, in fact, blessed with superlative eyes (such that they could see moons of Jupiter with the naked eye) and developed a sophisticated understanding of the heavens. And the Maori departed Hawaii back in ancient days heading for new lands and settled in what we now call New Zealand.

I hope Mike Brown is right. And I hope that like astronomers, astrologers will grasp the amazing singularity of Haumea (and Eris) and expand astrology to remain inclusive of the facts of the heavens instead of persistence in ignoring what is known.

A planet of a planet! Imagine!

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A New Planet(s)?

December 28, 2009

This past week a new entry appeared on the Minor Planet Center’s (MPC) public posting of Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO): 2009 YE7. It’s not the only new discovery revealed from the batch of 2009 discoveries. To date in 2009, astronomers have released information of the discovery of eight Scattered Disk Objects (SDO) of which four fit the centaur criteria, making them cousins of Chiron. Five “standard” Trans-Neptunian Objects, including the aforementioned 2009 YE7 top the TNO discovery list. Notable about 2009 YE7 is the body’s absolute magnitude. This brightness factor is part of what astronomers use to reckon an object’s size. According to the rules of thumb – around which there are possible special circumstances – this new body weighs in somewhat smaller than Orcus and minimally smaller than Quaoar – both of which are assumed to be dwarf planets by many in astronomical circles according to the ultra-ill definition of planet criteria. A few astrologers now apply Orcus with gusto and consideration of the “other Pluto” as a planet. As well, 2009 YE7 appears to be larger than Varuna and Ixion – both of which appear to be likely dwarf planets.

It gets worse. Two bodies recently received orbital refinement: 2003 AZ84, now minor solar system body 208996 and 2005 UQ513, now 202421. Both these Trans-Neptunian Objects seemingly fall into the same size category of Varuna and Ixion and are likely smaller than 2009 YE7.

This means astrologers not only have existing delineations challenged by that thing that’s not really named, Snow White, as a most definite dwarf planet in the category of Pluto, Charon, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna, but 2009 YE7 in the realm of Orcus and Quaoar, who are most definitely probably planets. How’s an astrologer going to keep up if the Kuiper Belt continues to introduce significant bodies that a properly delineating astrologer cannot afford to ignore? I’m working on a model for this… it’s not quite there yet, but it’s close (and you’ll have to tune into to my Galactic Times, published through my official website – visit about me on this blog and you can get there from here).

Meanwhile, most astrologers do not include the full package of “no doubters” in the dwarf planet smorgasbord: Pluto, Charon, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna, let alone the most likely ones – Orcus and Quaoar. They certainly fail to include the “probably planets” 2009 YE7 – which just came to collective attention – or Varuna or Ixion.

Back to this new body. The orbital data is rough as of yet and it is risky to form definitive conclusions about it until the body receives a minor solar system body number, indicating astronomers believe they have the orbital elements pegged. What we do know is that it now travels through 25 Taurus 35 (as of January 1, 2010) and its north node crosses the ecliptic at 18 Leo 48. Significantly, another Kuiper Belt Object appears with one of its two ecliptically measured orbital factors in a sign that promotes self discovery, confidence, certainty in the soul, creative aspiration and all the benefits and merits of a conscious existence. Evidently, the Kuiper Belt seeks to reaffirm previously diminished personality traits in the interest of shoring up souls and spirits weakened by participation in the relatively rough existence of life on Earth. If the current orbital data is more or less spot on, 2009 YE9 will be determined to come closest to the Sun while in the sign of Scorpio as does Pluto.

No doubt the Pluto in Leo generation folks will come to embrace this body more than other recent Pluto generations. Accused of being the most solipsism rich of all Pluto signs, those of the Leo generation of this underworld body love to ponder the meaning of one’s existence and the splash one can make on the planet. The multitude of new found dwarf planets with orbital elements in Aries and Leo seem to agree. Figure out who you are, what you’ve got and get on with giving to the world in a good way. Of course the Pluto in Cancer generation wonders what went wrong with the idea of devotion to family, culture, heritage and country. The Pluto in Virgo generation stands amazed at the lack of modesty – false or otherwise – displayed by those full of themselves sporting Pluto in Leo. Pluto in Libra folks travel in packs and create cooperative ventures as to not stand out too much or draw attention to personal individuality. Pluto in Scorpio wants to give everyone what they’ve got whether others want it or agree with it or not. Pluto in Sag folks, the earliest ones of this generation now reaching into adulthood seeking their place, have it figured out or so it seems to them. Yes, each Pluto generation carries its ego-healing bear to cross.

All of these generations (except the very early portion of Pluto in Cancer) share Eris in Aries. This commonality inspires each and every person to find their optimal, personal niche and remain true to it. No matter what sign they traveled in a person’s nativity, Haumea, Makemake and Sedna sport agendas of personal development, the awakening of the soul and the fulfillment of one’s dharma.

Why not embrace these new planets? They impact your horoscope and support transformational effects that appear along the path of life. They ask the questions: What does one do after “seeing the light,” transforming about the restrictions of the mundane and diving deep into the underworld returning to the surface for the first breath of air as an awakened being?

Simple. Awaken to the skill sets now available upline in the heavens above courtesy of the new planets.