A Note On Pluto

Wednesday June 10th 2015

A while ago my friend Isy wrote a brilliant guest blog about Pluto describing his relationship with Charon and showing that in fact this minor planet is really part of a dyad. To read that click here. I was reminded of this because she sent me this note about the most recent Plutonian data.

Hi sweetie,

Another intriguing bonne-bouche … Pluto’s vortex with Charon creates a curious combination of stable, though bizarre, orbits, and utterly unpredictable tumbling rotations.

According to this, some of them orbit Pluto in opposite directions, though in roughly the same plane. I’d check that. I’m not sure that’s physically possible!

This does have an incorrect graphic implying that the moon closest to the Pluto-Charon dyad orbits a lot slower than the outer moon, and in the opposite direction. Heck of a metaphor, but erroneous. The actual order from inside to outside is Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. Styx does orbit faster than Hydra. BBC should be ashamed! 🙂

One of these moons is black and the others are white, and yet they’re assumed to be from the same source. I love it that the one named after the guard dog is black, otherly, a different species but spang in the middle of the family.

Most weirdly, these satellites around the P-C dyad don’t rotate around poles. Not at all. They tumble like acrobats with inner-ear trouble, rotating roughly around their central point but with any old chunk of surface facing the Sun at any given time. Standing on the surface, you’d see pretty much everything overhead at some point soon.

And yet they hold their orbits, in stable octaves, around the P-C binary. That is really cool. Seems like it should be chaos, but all that bouncing and twanging has its own, much more complex pattern embedded in its activity.

Hubble studies Pluto’s wobbly moons http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-33005898


This animation shows the binary orbit to be more like a swing dance couple than pebbles on a string:

The visuals here are wonderful. Wish I’d had this for that guest blog!

Nice geek break 🙂



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  1. Sabina says:

    ‘Seems like it should be chaos, but all that bouncing and twanging has its own, much more complex pattern embedded in its activity.’ Brought to mind this clip:
    ‘There are more things in heaven and earth …’

    • Christina says:

      Oh yes. The pictures of the Pluto posse are really fascinating. Actually they look like a bunch of eggs!

  2. sabrina says:

    It is fascinating. Few days ago I was reading an astronomy book with my oldest child, and we were amazed of how they always face each other in the same way. As if their eyes were locked as they dance. Now seeing the other post, is there, but I had forgotten about it. How that dynamic between the two bodies affects the astrology though?

    • Christina says:

      I am not sure. But I do think we need to think about it.
      One way of looking at it is that, “Pluto” actually has empty space at its heart, another is that “Pluto” is in fact even more two-sided than other planetary energies.
      It just seems to me that when we know such important astronomy, it must effect the interpretations.

  3. M says:

    Its been interesting reading the commentary on the massive updates to what we know about Pluto recently – perhaps more so for me as a late Cancerian. While I have a nice trine to my Scorpio moon currently it is also opposing my Mars. I’m not sure if this is linked to the horrendous transits I’ve been through in the past few years -feeling as if my Saturn return in Libra immediately followed by Saturn opposing Ascendent since then ‘put my fires out’, and the ongoing Pluto opposition Mars means I can’t get started again!

    Whilst I am confident the Scorpio parts of me will be feeling chirpier shortly, I have to say I am concerned about coming years when I can look forward to Uranus square and then Pluto opposing my Sun, and also doing the same in reverse to my natal Saturn and Pluto which are very close together in Libra… At the moment I feel as if I could not stand up to any more darkness ahead. I wonder how worried I should be? It may seem I’m looking for the negative here – I can assure you this wasn’t the case 5years ago! So I watch with fascination these developments, not sure how much ‘knowing your enemy’ can help here, but maybe won’t hurt!

    • Christina says:

      I find that Uranian transits are often brilliant in fact, but not so much.

      However, you need to look at what those planets are doing in your natal chart. Are they sending out good aspects or tough ones? That will give you a steer as to how this will work out.

  4. M says:

    Thanks Christina.

    Well my natal Sun in 9th is almost precisely square my natal Pluto and Saturn in 12th (within 2 degrees of both), so I guess that counts as a tough aspect (to put it mildly!). Thats the major toughy in my chart apart from Uranus in 1st precisely square Venus in 10th. Oh dear. Apart from that I’m all watery and fiery trines, which I’m not sure are helpful in times of trouble because of my basic feeling of harmony. So I suppose the difficulty is Saturn and Pluto in recent and coming times are spotlighting the major tension in my structure – which is why it feels like hell. Hmm.

    I can see how things might improve in, oh, around a decades time (!) but its hard to find comfort in an unworkable present. Important to retain sense of humour as far as possible! its certainly hard to know where to direct the little energy I have in the rubble. Looking forward to Saturn in Sagittarius: I think it might be as good as it gets for me for a long while… the question is: what to rebuild when things look so stormy ahead? One not to spend too long pondering!