§767 The discovery of Pluto (1930.2.18): I-84.

I-84 (§767):

The Moon obscured in the profound darkness,
Her brother having passed from the ferruginous colour:
The great hidden for a long time in its seclusion,
Shall make fade the iron in the sanguinary wound.

(Lune obscurcie aux profondes tenebres,
Son frere passe de couleur ferrugine:
Le grand caché long temps sous les latebres,
Tiedera fer dans la plaie sanguine.)

NOTES: Son frere (her brother): = « le Soleil (the Sun).» (Brind’Amour, 1996, p.165).

Passe: = passé (having passed) (Ionescu, 1983, p.230). Ionescu’s interpretation of the phrase ‘Son frere passe de couleur ferrugine’ as the Sun’s advancing beyond Mars in the longitude (id., p.233) is not literally pertinent because the astronomic situation he tells is inferred only from his horoscope (planetary configuration) devised upon the date of Pluto’s discovery (id., p.229) and a simple phrase denoting an attribute ‘couleur ferrugine (the ferruginous colour)’ cannot exclusively designate the planet Mars rather than the colour of the Sun itself, and moreover the planet Mars is evidently and substantially referred to in the fourth line as ‘fer dans la plaie sanguine (the iron in the sanguinary wound)’.

The ferruginous colour: = the colour of the Sun in sunset. Ionescu’s identification of this phrase with Mars (id. p.233) is not pertinent.

Latebre: « latebre, s.m., lieu retiré (a secluded place), secret (a secret), cachette (a hiding-place); adj., caché (hidden).» (Godefroy).

Tiedera: = « tiédira, rendra tiède (shall fade, shall make fade).» (Brind’Amour, id.).

The iron in the sanguinary wound: = the planet Mars, Mars in alchemy corresponding to the metal iron and symbolizing in mythology wars and weapons (the French fer [the English iron also] having the sense of a sword).

V. Ionescu ingeniously disclosed the theme of the quatrain as the discovery of Pluto in 1930 (Ionescu, 1983, p.228-241), but his interpretation seems a priori starting from the horoscope (planetary configuration) of January 23, 1930, when Pluto’s move had been photographed compared with the photo six days later (January 29), but in detail he does not always follow faithfully the literal expressions of the quatrain, which we should explain at first.

In the beginning, the theme of the quatrain is to be identified as ‘a starry matter in the night without moonlight’ because the first hemistich describes the invisibility of the Moon [The Moon obscured in the profound darkness] and the aftertime of the sunset [Her brother having passed from the ferruginous colour], the two indispensable conditions for a starry observation**.

In the second place, the question is as to a planetary star because the fourth line stages the planet Mars [the iron in the sanguinary wound] as its lesser rival.

Now, the planet in question is the most recently discovered after a long time hiding [hidden for a long time in its seclusion] to be compared with Mars in the quatrain.

It is not but Pluto, discovered on February 18, 1930 at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA, after Uranus in 1781 (cf. §341, VIII-69) and Neptune in 1846 (cf. §613, IV-33) and named as such in its publicity on March 13, 1930. In fact in mythology, Pluto is the King of Hades, far superior in its omni-negative potency to Mars, only a dominator of arms and wars, a sector of the approaches to Hades; « HADES. In the classical Greek mythology, Hades – or Pluto – as well as Zeus [Jupiter] and Poseidon [Neptune], is a son of Cronus and of Rhea. After the victory of the Gods over the Titans, he received as his share the underground empire of the dead, the hells, whilst Zeus obtained the Heaven and Poseidon the Sea. The name of this divinity became that of his residence by extension: the Hades, in common Greek, designates hells, the abode of the dead.» (Monloubou).

** The times of the sunset and the rise (the set) of the Moon of the days concerned: February 23 – 29, 1930 in Flagstaff, Arizona (35° 12′ N, 111° 38′ W, 2106m H, GMT-07:00), were as follows: The sunset: 17:53 – 17:59; The rise (the set) of the Moon: 02:30 (13:00) – 07:41 (17:57).

« New Horizons NASA's Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt
Discovery of Pluto
Percival Lowell, Search for Planet X: The story of Pluto's discovery begins with Percival Lowell, the founder of Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Lowell was obsessed with the notion of a "trans-Neptunian" planet, which he believed could be detected from the effect it would have on Neptune's orbit. After all, the planet Neptune had been discovered in 1846 by examining irregularities in the orbit of Uranus. Astronomers reasoned that the mystery planet's apparent gravitational influence on Uranus and Neptune could be used to calculate where in the sky it should be found. Lowell was one of several people (William H. Pickering was another) who hunted for Planet X by computing orbits and carefully searching the sky where they concluded the new planet ought to be. Lowell founded an observatory and funded three separate searches for Planet X. He died in 1916 without discovering it, but the search continued at the observatory. In 1929, a special camera-equipped telescope with a 13-inch objective lens was built specifically for this search.

Clyde Tombaugh, The Discoverer of Pluto: Observatory director Vesto Slipher hired a young man from Kansas to conduct the third search — a move that led to Clyde Tombaugh becoming the first American to discover a planet. Amateur astronomer Tombaugh was hired to expose photographic plates with this new camera by night, and to carefully compare the plates by day using an instrument called a blink comparator. On February 18, 1930, Tombaugh finally found what he was looking for: a tiny spot of light moving slowly against the fixed pattern of stars in the constellation Gemini****. Tombaugh set about to search the ecliptic plane for a new planet. As it turns out, Lowell's calculations were based on flawed data about the perturbations of Uranus' orbit. Despite that, one of the two locations predicted by Lowell's calculation (the favored one, in fact) happened to be right where Pluto was found. Tombaugh was fortunate to find Pluto after only searching for a few months. According to Tombaugh and Moore's 1980 book, "Out of the Darkness: The Planet Pluto," he took pictures in pairs, a few days apart, and looked for anything that moved. Any planets would appear to shift against the backdrop of stars because Earth had moved to a new viewing angle over the intervening days. The discovery plates were taken only six days apart, on January 23 and 29, 1930. After Pluto's discovery, Tombaugh began a laborious search of the entire ecliptic and turned up no additional objects in the outer solar system.

Pluto Gets a Name: Planet X was subsequently christened Pluto in 1930, a name suggested by Venetia Burney, an 11-year-old girl in Oxford, England. This name was favored by the astronomers of Lowell Observatory because its first two letters were the initials of Percival Lowell. In hindsight, the discovery had nothing to do with Lowell's calculations based on perceived perturbations to the orbits of Uranus and Neptune. We now know that those perturbations were not real, and that Pluto's mass is much too small to have produced such perturbations in any case. The discovery owes more to the remarkable persistence and diligence of Clyde Tombaugh in his careful search of the sky. The New Horizons Science Operations Center is named for Clyde Tombaugh.

© 2016 The Johns Hopkins University/ Applied Physics Laboratory LLC. All rights reserved. [
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Participate/learn/What-We-Know.php?link=Discovery-of-Pluto ] »

« The Space Review in association with SpaceNews
Pluto at 75: a uniquely American anniversary by S. Alan Stern  Monday, February 14, 2005

Seventy-five years ago this month, in February of 1930, our solar system’s ninth planet, Pluto, was discovered. The discovery of Pluto—2,500 kilometers wide and fully a billion kilometers beyond Neptune—was made by Clyde Tombaugh (1906–1997), a plucky, twenty-four-year-old American astronomer working at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona when he made the landmark find. News of the long-anticipated discovery of “Planet X” rocketed around the world in the spring of 1930, making Tombaugh instantly famous, and garnering a high-profile scientific achievement for what was by then routinely called the “the American Century.” Diminutive Pluto, lying beyond both the rocky inner planet and outer gas giant planet zones of our solar system, was for many years an apparent misfit among the planets. Even after its large satellite, Charon, was discovered in 1978, Pluto’s classification and scientific value seemed problematic. Today, in 2005, that is no longer the case. The ninth planet is the biggest, the brightest, and the first-discovered member of the solar system’s third major architectural zone—the distant and icy Kuiper Belt... The discovery of the Kuiper Belt has fueled a revolution in our understanding of the origin, architecture, and richness of the deep outer solar system. Together, Pluto-Charon and the Kuiper Belt constitute an exciting frontier for scientific exploration, rich with possibilities for illuminating the origin of the planets, the formation of planetary satellites and double planet pairs, the interior properties and surface evolution of icy worlds, and the physics of tenuous atmospheres. In fact, so valuable are the Pluto-Charon system and its Kuiper Belt companions, that their exploration was ranked as the highest priority new mission to launch in this decade by the National Academy of Sciences in its Planetary Decadal Survey report to NASA... the scientific wonderland of Pluto, its giant moon Charon, and the Kuiper Belt is the destination for NASA’s New Horizons mission, which plans to launch in early 2006. If all goes as planned, New Horizons will cross the entire span of the solar system in record time and conduct flyby reconnaissance studies of the Pluto-Charon system in 2015 and then one or more Kuiper Belt objects before 2020. In accomplishing this historic feat, America will complete the reconnaissance of all the known planets, and provide a new and vivid demonstration of the historic kinds of space exploration that only it has the technical prowess to achieve.

A planetary scientist, Dr. Alan Stern is the Principal Investigator of the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission and director of the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute.
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/319/1 ] »

**** « In 1915, Lowell drastically revised the preferred region of search to longitudes of around 85 degrees in the extreme eastern portion of the constellation Taurus. This region is right in the heart of the Milky Way, and the plates taken were extremely rich with star images. Pluto was in this region then. In the examination of these plates, the Pluto images were missed. After the discovery of Pluto in 1930, the better orbit computations gave close approximations of where to retrieve the Pluto images on old plates. Lampland [C.O.Lampland shared with Percival Lowell the 1914-16 trans-Neptunian search.] found the images of Pluto on one-hour exposure plates taken by Gill [Dr. Lampland supervised the new search. The plates were taken by T.B.Gill and E.A.Edwards. From April 1914 to July 1916, nearly one thousand plates were taken over a considerable sky area.] on 19 March and 7 April 1915. The images were quite weak, which was to be expected.» (Tombaugh [and Moore], 1980, p.89-90).

« When the photographing began in April [1929], my instructions from Dr. V.M.Slipher were, ‘Do the regions in Gemini and proceed eastward along the Ecliptic as rapidly as possible.’ The Gemini region was already about 90 degrees west of the opposition point [of the Sun]. It was not until the end of the June lunation that I succeeded in catching up to the opposition point, which sweeps eastward through the constellations at a rate of 30 degrees each month. This is caused by the Earth’s motion of revolution around the Sun... Now in September, the constellation of Capricornus was too far west of opposition. This break would have to be retrieved next year. As the skies cleared in September, I started photographing in the constellations of Aquarius and Pisces. These were lovely regions with hundreds of spiral galaxies to view and not so populous in stars, only about 50,000 per plate. The regions were 60 degrees from the equator of the Milky Way. I could blink a pair of plates in three days of work. I knew that Uranus was in Pisces, but I did not want to know exactly from its listed position in the American Ephemeris. I wanted to test myself on the surprise of encounter. When the Moon stopped my night work, I started blinking these new plates in daytime, field by field, strip by strip, panel by panel. Suddenly, upon turning to the next eyepiece field (1-by-2-centimeters), there was Uranus. being of the sixth magnitude, it was a real wallop. I almost ducked my head. I stopped and measured its shift in position with a millimeter scale. It was exactly as I had calculated it would be on those plates. Now my confidence was complete. From now on, for the next several years, I was obsessed with the planet search... Each succeeding month, I was getting closer and closer to the constellation of Gemini. It was also the region where Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781. In November, I was going through the star fields in western Taurus. The stars thickened in number. The search was approaching the Milky Way. By the end of November, I had blinked about ten pairs of plates. The last two contained as many stars as all of the other eight together. I had sifted through about one million stars.» (Tombaugh [and Moore], id., p.115-123).

« In the January 1930 lunation, I rephotographed the entire Gemini region. On 21 January 1930, I set the 13-inch (33-centimeter) telescope on Delta Geminorum again. A good night seemed to be in prospect. The sky was very clear. Within ten minutes after the shutter was opened to begin the exposure, a strong northeast wind sprang up. In another ten minutes, it was a howling gale. The guide star, Delta Gem, began to fuzz up badly into a diffuse patch, making it hard to guide. Then terrific gusts swept up the east side of Mars Hill [where is Lowell Observatory]. The star image would swell up to several apparent diameters of Jupiter. With succeeding gusts, the image would swell up so badly that it became invisible. I muttered, ‘I can’t see anything to guide on.’ It was a most helpless situation. After the gust had passed, the guide star became visible again, but it was still swollen and in violent, agitated motion. I had never seen such terrible seeing, nor have I seen such in the years since. I thought of terminating the exposure and closing the dome. I was getting worried about the gusts snapping the ropes that held the doors of the slit open, although the ropes were strong and new. With that kind of seeing, the plate was spoiled anyway but I decided to finish out the exposure just to see how bad the images would be after I developed the plate. I had more plates to take, but to do so would be futile, so I closed the dome. After developing the plate the next day, I viewed the dripping plate with a magnifier. The images were swollen to several times their normal diameter. Also, the dilution resulted in a loss of about 1.5 magnitudes. Nevertheless, that horrible plate did record the image of Pluto, but I did not know it then. Some astronomical textbooks state that Pluto was discovered on 21 January 1930. Nonsense! Only on the date that the images are recognized as those of a planet does it constitute a discovery. I have written many letters to authors (many astronomers) to get them to correct the error for their next book edition.» (Tombaugh [and Moore], id., p.123-124).

« On 23 January, I photographed the Delta Gem region again. It was a good plate. I was unable to photograph the region again until 29 January. This six-day interval was twice as long as I preferred. This was the pair that I would blink later. During that lunation, I photographed the western regions of Gemini again... On the morning of 18 February, I placed the 23 January and 29 January Gem plates on the Blink-Comparator, starting on the eastern half. This was a most fortunate decision. Had it been otherwise, Pluto might not have been discovered in 1930... A terrific thrill came over me. I switched the shutter back and forth, studying the images. Oh! I had better look at my watch and note the time. This would be a historic discovery. Estimating my delay at about three minutes, it would place the moment of discovery very close to four o’clock [in the afternoon]. For the next forty-five minutes or so, I was in the most excited state of mind in my life. I had to check further to be absolutely sure. I measured the shift with a metric rule to be 3.5 millimeters. Then I replaced one of the plates with the 21 January plate. Almost instantly I found the image 1.2 millimeters east of the 23 January position, perfectly consistent with the shift on the six-day interval of the discovery pair. Now I felt 100 percent sure.» (Tombaugh [and Moore], id., p.124-127).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2018. All rights reserved.


Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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