Asteroid Astrology: Research

lam1 cover

Asteroid Profile: Lameia, the Ghoul Next Door, Part I

Lamia is a figure from classical Greek myth, originally a Queen of Libya who caught Zeus’ roving eye, a not uncommon occurrence.  Their affair was of some duration and produced several children, until Zeus’ wife Hera discovered his infidelity, and flew into a jealous rage, as was her wont.  Unable to truly punish her divine husband, Hera was typically vindictive toward his paramours, but the penalty she devised for Lamia was exceptionally cruel.  The Queen of Heaven forced Lamia to eat her own children, an act which drove her rival insane and transformed her into a night-roaming monster who fed on the blood of infants.  (Hera also cursed her with insomnia, though Zeus, perhaps as a parting gift for services rendered, kindly granted her the power to remove her eyes so she could get some rest.)

Continue reading

BCC cover

Of Bishops, Champions and Chancellors: an Asteroid Triptych

Some asteroid names are resonant to particular job titles or accomplishments. In this article, we’ll examine three, two of which have been featured in the news lately.

On August 23rd, Pope Francis acquiesced to a rather unusual request:  52-year-old Xavier Novell i Goma, Bishop of Solsona, Spain, submitted his resignation for “strictly personal reasons.”  In good health, at the prime of life (for clergy), the bishop’s departure raised eyebrows and caused speculation in sacred and secular circles.  Novell was elevated to his see in 2010, at age 42, one of the youngest bishops Spain had ever known.  It took the Spanish press awhile to smoke out the details, but on September 5th the sordid story broke – the ex-bishop had left the church to cohabit with a 38-year-old divorcee, Silvia Caballol Clemente, with whom he had fallen in love.  Caballol is a novelist.  Of erotica.  Satanic erotica.  Well, at least she doesn’t have a penis.

Continue reading

SK2 cover

Stranger Rings in the Kuiper Belt

Guest blogger Sue Kientz gifts us with some celestial jewelry in the form of her thought-provoking, groundbreaking article on planetary rings in the Kuiper Belt, that icy region past Neptune which may be populated by thousands of dwarf and minor planets.  And so, without further ado, here’s Sue!

 

Saturn’s rings have been explored close-up by robotic spacecraft and found to be small moonlets marshaled into ring shape by nearby moons. Separating the rings are distinct gaps, also made by lunar influences, both examples of how small bodies can be surprisingly influential and in beautiful ways.

This design structure repeats. Saturn is not the only one with rings; Jupiter has gossamer rings as do Uranus and Neptune. Centaur Chariklo and Dwarf Planet Haumea have them. Even the Sun has a huge ring — the main-belt asteroids, corralled by Jupiter and Mars.

So it should not surprise that there is ring-like structure in the Kuiper Belt, itself the Sun’s “outer” ring, maintained by Neptune, but not without gravitational coaxings from Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter. These giants use gravity to “bully” big Dwarf Planets into safe zones where they peacefully orbit. If they stray from these zones, they’re thrown clear of our solar system or pulled inward and broken into asteroids.

Continue reading

gkun cover

New Kid on the Celestial Block: G!kun||’homdima

Don’t even try to pronounce it, but newly minted Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) G!kun||’homdima could make quite a name for herself as the decades roll on. Named for a mythic character of the Ju\’hoansu (don’t try to pronounce that one, either!) people of Namibia, in southwest Africa, G!kun||’homdima is a beautiful young girl who appears most often as an aardvark (sometimes a python or elephant). Stemming from a click language, filled with more diacriticals than you can shake a walking stick at, G!kun||’homdima is far too much of a mouthful for Western tongues to handle, so, meaning no disrespect, we’re just going to call her Gkun for short. She defends her people and punishes wrongdoers using gamigami spines, a rain-cloud full of hail, and her magical oryx horn.

Continue reading

atrial flutter

The Heart of the Matter

On Friday, September 8, 2017, I had a minor medical procedure called a cardioversion. It’s a simple outpatient procedure, necessitated by my heart being out of rhythm.

Continue reading