New Horizons for a Lost Horizon: Astronomy, Astrology, and Mythology
Encompassing astronomy, mythology, psychology, and astrology, this anthology offers a wealth of knowledge about our most famous dwarf planet. Pluto, once defined as the ninth and final planet, is now the first dwarf planet in the second Kuiper Belt region of our solar system. Discovered as a new planet in 1930 and “demoted” in 2006, Pluto and its discovery and reclassification throw a unique light on how we generate meaning in science and culture.
Pluto is the target of a July 2015 assignation with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft and will be the last of the original nine planets of the solar system to be imaged. This anthology is timed to appear in concordance with New Horizons’s approach to Pluto. The astronomical aspect of the anthology also explores Pluto’s moons (including Charon, a moon rivaling Pluto’s own size); the orbital resonances of the Plutonian moons; the characterization of Pluto as a swarm with a barycenter as opposed to a single world orbited by individual satellites; the plutinos (small planets sharing Pluto’s orbit at different trajectories and positions as a result of Neptunian resonance); other Kuiper Belt dwarf planets (the 14 or so other worlds, including plutinos, similar to Pluto in size, composition, satellite(s), and increasing distance from the rest of the solar system); the demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet; and the prospective possible discoveries of New Horizons.
Certain astronomical features pertain to Pluto in terms of its distance from the Sun, coldness, and barrenness. These also inform its mythology and astrology as befitting a planet named after the God of the Underworld. Among the issues central to this collection are the meanings of darkness, loss, grief, inner transformation, rebirth, reincarnation, and karmic revelation, all of which are associated with the astrology of Pluto. Pluto also embodies the meaning of true wealth as being nonmaterial essence instead of property, conventional accolades, ego identity, achievement; it is the marker of negative capability.