Date: Sat, 06 Nov 1999 10:34:25 -0600
Subject: the attack of the little ones

In once wrote here about the "Damocles" group. They are like the more aggressive centaurs of high eccentricity (Pholus, Nessus, Asbolus...), the main difference being that they come much closer to the earth, reaching the distances of Mars or the asteroid belt. The more aggressive centaurs are mild in comparison.

Before Damocles was discovered in 1991, the only "outer planet crosser" known --apart from comets, of which I want to speak-- was 944 Hidalgo, discovered in 1920, which traveled between the Mars/asteroid-belt realm and Jupiter, crossing it briefly and coming back with a period of 13.8 years, very close to that of Jupiter.

Then Chiron was found in 1977, as an augur of what was to come. 12 years after its discovery (1989) it was found that Chiron had a giant comet's tail, or coma, making it the largest comet known in the solar system... except that it was "bounded" by Saturn and Uranus and never left their region. But then came Damocles in 1991 (lost soon after), one year before the discovery of the Kuiper belt and of Pholus.

If the centaurs are "wild", think about Damocles: it "shoots" itself from Uranus to Mars, crossing everything in its path, including the unsurmountable Jupiter realm... yes, but... this is exactly what comets do. What is the difference between objects like Damocles and a comet? Before trying to answer, let's see the list of Damocles-like objects discovered after this:

Damocles    1.581  22.060  Mars--Uranus 
1997 MD10   1.537  52.450  Mars--beyond Pluto
1999 LD31   2.377  46.358  asteroid belt--beyond Pluto
1998 WU24   1.412  28.910  Mars--almost Neptune
1998 QJ1    2.116  20.855  asteroid belt--Uranus
1999 RG33   2.166  17.128  asteroid belt--almost Uranus

Of all these only Damocles has been observed for a whole synodic cycle (2 oppositions), so all these orbits are more or less preliminary, and we must not forget that Damocles was lost in 1992, soon after its discovery, so the present ephemeris may show significant errors for positions before the 1980's.

Consideration of this "family" is interesting to me for 2 reasons: it helps me understand the nature of the centaurs, as these are also crossers, more aggressive crossers indeed than centaurs, but they are linked to the inner solar system, like comets, while centaurs always remain within the sphere of the giant outer planets.

The second reason why they are interesting to me, is because they make me wonder about comets, since the only difference I perceive between comets and these bodies, is that comets come within the earth region and they don't. Of course, there is the obvious reasons of not having a "tail", and of comets being always smaller in size.

Now: we never interpret comets in classical astrology, because we don't know how to. Many comets have parabolic orbits that come from the absolute unknown of the Ooort region, and their apparition is quite unpredictable, therefore falling out of the astrological corpus, which is based on the concept of cyclic "return". But there are short period comets whose returns are predictable and well-known, like comet Halley, which never leaves the region of the main planets, "our region".

The period of comet Halley, for example, is about 76 years, the same as Asbolus. When Halley reaches its aphelion around 19 Pisces, it is way "behind" Neptune, in the Neptune/Pluto region. But here is the difference, when Halley comes, it reaches the earth-realm, almost "touching" us with his coma. Asbolus will never do that, but it is easy to perceive how they are related: both are "cometary".

In other words, what we are learning about centaurs, is teaching us about the astrological meaning of comets, and the age-old powerful symbolism and folklore about comets, helps us understand the nature of the centaurs.

The problem, astrologically speaking, is one of methodology, of learning how to deal with all these bodies without falling into triviality and meaninglessness. This is a real challenge, but it is not unsurmountable. It simply means that the old paradigms of astrology are beginning to be substituted by new ones, as is happening in everything else in the world.

No dogma will survive "the attack of the little ones", "the orbit crossers", in every facet of life, of human knowledge and of experience. They are destroying all the barriers. If we resist them, they will destroy us, too.



Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 07:59:29 -0600
Subject: [crp] comet Oterma

Marsden stated that comets 39P/Oterma and 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann could be classified as centaurs, so I looked at their orbits to see how much they could be centaurs.

Comet Schwass... whatever (period = 14.7 yrs) has a semi-major axis of 5.999, and its perihelion distance is 5.7. This means that its eccentricity is little (e=0.045), and that it is always very close to Jupiter's orbit. Personally, I would discard it as a potential centaur.

But Oterma has some interesting potential, when compared to SG35 and to LE31:

Semi-major axis (mean solar distance):

   SG35   = 8.22
   LE31   = 8.17
   Oterma = 7.27

period of revolution in years:

   SG35   = 24.5
   LE31   = 23.4
   Oterma = 19.6

perihelion-aphelion range:

   SG35   = 5-10
   LE31   = 4-12
   Oterma = 5.48-9.06

Apparently, Oterma approaches Jupiter and Saturn barely "touching" them, while SG35 "touches" Saturn all the way and barely approaches Jupiter. LE31crosses both.

The 3 orbits are very similar. I wonder how others feel or think about this...


Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 07:33:46 -0600
Subject: Riyal objects, details

>- 944 Hidalgo and 1181 Lilith

Lilith is a regular main-belt asteroid, but Hidalgo is a crosser. Discovered in 1920 and considered by many to be a comet (an identity situation present in many crossers including centaurs), it has a period of 13.8 years and crosses Jupiter and Saturn. At aphelion its distance is the same as Saturn, whereas at perihelion it comes to the region between Mars and the asteroid belt. We could consider it a Mars-Saturn linker.

>- Heracles and Damocles

5143 Heracles, discovered in 1991, is an Apollo-type object. It has a period of 2.5 years and crosses Venus, Earth, Mars, and the asteroid belt. When farthest, it is a little beyond the main asteroid-belt (like, for example, Hygeia), and when closest to the Sun comes near Mercury. It is a Mercury-asteroids linker (from now on by "asteroids" I will mean the main-belt asteroids).

5335 Damocles, also found in 1991, is placed by the Minor Planet Center among the "other unusual objects" (OUO) category , but it clearly defines a type, the "Damocles Group", which was first brought to my attention by Russian astrologer Roman Brol. When closest to the Sun, it reaches the mean Mars distance, and when farthest, it is a little beyond Uranus. It is a Mars-Uranus linker. Its period is 40.6 years

>- 1999LE31

It moves retrograde, in a direction contrary to the rest, with a period of 23 years. The only reason it is not classified a centaur like SG35 is because it crosses Jupiter, while SG35 does not. They both cross Saturn and are Jupiter-Saturn linkers. More information on it can be found in my site in the "methodology" and "naming" collected posts. As mentioned in one of those posts from a note by Dr. Marsden, comet P/Oterma is in this same category and I will soon add it to the list.

>- 1996PW

To my knowledge this is the object with the longest period that exists (5800 years). It was seen during 2 oppositions in 1996-97, when it was approaching its perihelion, at the distance between Mars and the asteroids. The orbit computed gives an aphelion distance of more than 600 AU (compare with farthest distance reached by Pluto of 50 AU!). It is quite extraordinary, although with such an orbit 2 oppositions is not enough to have an accurate orbit determination. It is classified as OUO by the Minor Planet Center.

>- 1999XS35

This object is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA), and is being very closely watched since its discovery December 2, 1999. Its minimum distance possible to the Earth is 0.000 (zero!), but this time it missed us: it was closest to the Earth around November 6, at 0.045 AU. With the trajectory calculated so far, it crosses the Earth and goes back to beyond Neptune, in the Neptune-Pluto realm. Its period is 77 years.

>- 1999LD31. period 121 yrs. asteroids-beyond Pluto linker
>- 1999RG33. period  29 yrs. asteroids-Saturn/Uranus linker
>- 1998QJ1 . period  39 yrs. asteroids-Uranus linker
>- 1997MD10. period 140 yrs. asteroids-beyond Pluto linker
>- 1998WU24. period  59 yrs. asteroids-Neptune linker

This is the Damocles group. I will leave them for another post.

... and here is the complete list of TL-66 companions (all are from 1999):

( TL66 . period  789 yrs.)

- CY118. period 1086 yrs.
- CZ118. period  843 yrs.
- CF119. period  892 yrs.
- DG8  . period  745 yrs. (observed only 1 day)
- RU214. period  934 yrs.
- RZ214. period  814 yrs.



Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 19:21:46 -0600
Subject: the Damocles group and "Eris"

1997 MD10. - Discovered June 29, 1997, it was observed for 137 days until November 13th, and its orbit has an uncertainty of "1", better than Hylonome and Chariklo. When closest to the Sun, it is at the distance of Mars, but when farthest it is beyond even the aphelion of Pluto, so we could call it a Mars-super-Pluto crosser. It also has a very high inclination (60 degrees, like Damocles). Its period is 140 years. As with most of its class, it is probably very small (2-4 Km in diameter), so they are really like "comets without a tail".

1998 QJ1. - Discovered August 17, 1998, it was observed for 2 months until October 18 and has an orbital uncertainty of "3" --better than SG35 and QM107--. When closest to the Sun, this object reaches the distance of all the other main-belt asteroids, and when farthest, it crosses Uranus and stays close behind, so we can call it and Asteroids-Uranus linker (or rather, "breaker" or "cutter"). Its inclination is 23 degrees, and its period 39 years. It is probably as small as MD10, being the average size of a comet.

Do we discard them because they are so small? Would they be powerful because they come much closer to us than the centaurs? Is their power measured by the "sharpness" of their acute and abysmal orbit or by their size? Why are some centaurs so powerful when compared with other asteroids? Is it because of their slow "long-wave" motion?

1998 WU24. - Discovered November 25, 1998, it was observed for 3 months until February 20th, 1999, and has an uncertainty of "3" like QJ1 and TL66. When closest to the Sun it comes a little closer than the average distance of Mars, and when farthest it comes very close to Neptune, almost crossing it, so it is clearly a Mars-Neptune "cutter" with an orbital inclination of 43 degrees and a period of 59 years, in the same size range as the others (3-6 Km diameter).

These objects all have cometary eccentricities larger than that of the centaurs, so they are probably different astrologically. They also come closer, crossing the "Jupiter border" and coming into the neighborhood of Mars. Perhaps Mars is a clue, since the pointing arrow in its glyph describes their orbits well... they are more aggressive and invasive than centaurs. These distinctions are not trivial. Considering them and how they are similar and different from centaurs helps us to define better the limits of centaurean symbolical attributions, the same as when studying the differences between centaurs and main-belt asteroids or between centaurs and the earth-crossing near asteroids.

It is my opinion that if these distinctions are not made, the astrology of asteroids falls into triviality and mere name-playing.

1999 LD31. - This one was found June 8th, 1999, and was recently observed again after 210 days January 4th, so its orbit is now quite accurate, with an uncertainty of "2", like Chariklo and Hylonome. When closest to the Sun, it reaches the main asteroid belt, and when farthest, it goes almost to the farthest possible distance of Pluto at aphelion, so we can call it an Asteroids-super-Pluto cutter or crosser. It was found simultaneously with LE31/Melanippe?, and both have the peculiarity of moving in a direction contrary to all the other objects and planets (i.e., they always move retrograde heliocentrically). Its inclination is 160 degrees (20 degrees in the opposite direction) and it has a period of 121 years.

and now the last of the group so far:

1999 RG33. - Discovered September 4, 1999, has just been re-calculated after having found older photographs that cover a period of almost 3 years, giving its orbit an uncertainty of "1" like, like Nessus, Asbolus, and MD10. When closest to the Sun it passes the asteroid belt in the direction of Mars, and when farthest, it comes close to Uranus without crossing it, so we can call it a Mars-Uranus linker or cutter. It has an orbital inclination of 35 degrees and a period of 29 years. It also has the mildest eccentricity of the group, but even then, it is larger that the eccentricity of any of the centaurs.

Months ago, On June 6th, Zane forwarded a message from Arno Schlick suggesting the name "Eris" for 1992QB1, and more recently, on November 20th, Grug daViking suggested "Eris" for TL66. After these suggestions, I checked my (small and very humble --I'm no expert in mythology) dictionary and found "Eris" to be synonym with "Discordia", the twin sister of Ares and daughter of Zeus and Hera. My dictionary says that "Eris" is variously described as sister, mother, wife, and daughter of Ares, therefore sister of Fear, Panic, Terror, and Trembling, the four sons of Ares.

Based on this, I commented that "Eris" could not be used as a name for a trans-Neptunian planet, since the primordial deities have been given the prerogative by astronomers, but "Eris" seems a perfect name for one of these bodies to me...



Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 23:54:35 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] D-Day Omaha Beach...

I found the coordinates of Colleville Sur Mer: 49n21 / 00w51

This apparently is a few hundred meters from Omaha beach and is where the cemetery of American soldiers is found.

Using these coordinates, the exact time of sunrise is
Universal Time =  4h05m18s
Local Time     =  4h01m54s
Equation T     =  0h01m33s
Apparent Time  =  4h03m27s

Since the operation was scheduled at 6:30, this means 25 minutes after sunrise. According to the International Atlas, Bayeux was 2h ahead of Greenwich, the same as England.

This was the biggest full-force invasion of all times, a very literal description of the vertical orbit-crossing of very eccentric orbits, specially the damocloids. Damocloids are particularly war-like in their motion, linking Mars with Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto.

Pallas and Asbolus on the Ascendant are self-descriptive, e.g., the military strategy of Pallas and the mist of Asbolus. Recall some of my keywords for Asbolus:

<<mist, fog, hiding, secrets, mystery, conspiracy, torment, punishment, anguish, bewilderment, bleeding hearts, oven, igneous, ash and smoke...>>

I thinks this describes well the scenario at Omaha beach that morning. But let's check the Ascendant at the scheduled time:

Pallas = 20Ge13
==> high inclination of 34 degrees
RG33 = 20Ge31
==> a Mars-Uranus linker of high inclination (35 degrees)
Ascendant = 21Ge46
Asbolus = 22Ge20
Iris = 22Ge28
==> This Iris is intriguing. It is the early morning after sunrise itself...

There is a 1-degree configuration that is also very descriptive:

Mars  =  8Le29
BU48  =  8Aq40 (Alastor)
TD10  =  8Sc41 (Ixion)



Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 11:32:21 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] D-Day Omaha Beach - the Damocloids

<< ...This was the biggest full-force invasion of all times, a very literal description of the vertical orbit-crossing of very eccentric orbits,  specially the damocloids. Damocloids are particularly war-like in their motion, linking Mars with Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto.>>

We saw RG33 (Mars-Uranus linker, inclination 35 degrees) conjunct Pallas and the Ascendant. I personally feel that although Asbolus describes well the "atmosphere" of the invasion (all the nightmare), the extreme concentration of violence and the direct full-force invasion is more related to the Damocloids. So let's see the other foci of the chart:

Damocles =  6Pi42
Moon = 7Sa47
MD10 = 7Vi14
==>MD10 is a "superdamoclian" that traverses from Mars to beyond the aphelion of Pluto, with a period of 139 years. It was at aphelion in 1930, the year of Pluto's discovery, so it was moving very slowly, from 3 Virgo in 1930 to 7 Virgo in 1944. Its inclination is extreme (59 degrees), like Damocles. It forms here a very tight T-cross with the Moon at the focal point squaring both damoclians. Its latitude the day of the invasion was 55 degrees south.

DG8 = 14Sa05
Sun = 15Ge20
==>This falls beyond the 1-degree limit, but I feel it is significant because it is the only close *hard* aspect the Sun makes. At opposition it is at the point of maximum brilliance in the sky. This is a *retrograde* Mars-Uranus linker, also with a large inclination of 50+ degrees.

QJ1 = 18Le19
M.C. = 18Aq41
==> this one is on the IC. Another Mars-Uranus linker with a "milder" inclination of 23 degrees.

High-inclination objects are "divers", they "criss-cross" the sky like fighting planes and artillery shells. The damocloids have the record of high inclinations, and is the closest you can get to periodic comets. They are "exaggerated" centaurs, clearly more invasive, poignant, and martial than all of them in orbital terms. They extend the centaurean paradigm and "invade" the inner Solar System. This crossing of the Jupiter gravitational barrier makes them catalysts and transformers in a very literal way, because they do something none of the centaurs can do: they transform themselves from slow-moving objects (Jupiter and Saturn onwards) to fast-moving objects (main asteroid-belt and Mars), as if completely changing their nature. They tend to move retrograde and reach extreme latitudes. They are more "comets" than anything else in the asteroid world, the ultimate guerrilla fighters and revolutionaries. They are agents of reform with a very wide "reservoir" of possibilities and transformations. The centaurs are transitional in this respect.

The above is speculative, but I hope there will be a time when the different categories: transneptunians, centaurs, damocloids, apollos... are all given their proper place in the structure and their characteristics as a group can be visualized when seen in terms of the whole. These distinctions between the levels or domains in which the different groups operate are the basis of work with asteroids.



Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 17:01:40 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Damoclian thoughts

The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, considered collectively, establishes a clear and obvious separation between the world of the gas giants, the transcendences of existence (slow-moving), where by definition all the centaurs have their home, and the much faster world of the inner or terrestrial planets. The physical and dynamical differences between the two worlds are fundamental.

We have a set of small planets whose motion is almost totally controlled by the Sun, i.e. their mutual perturbations or gravitational interactions are small, then the asteroid belt, like a colony of the world of the fixed stars inside the Solar System, and then, beyond the belt, we are in a world of giants that are able to gravitationally push and pull the Sun enough to make it swing around the Barycenter of the Solar System.

If we are to make the analogy between a human being and the solar system, we could imagine the asteroid belt like a sort of navel dividing the higher from the lower part of the body, or the higher brain and consciousness functions (the transcendencies) and the bodily or vital functions (the terrestrial planets).

Of course, we can reverse this and say the slow planets represent our "unconscious" lower functions and the faster planets (Sun, Mercury, etc.) our "conscious" part, which is the more superficial or obvious way one would think. But this doesn't matter. My point is simply that structurally the Solar System is clearly divided between inner and outer, and that this notion is important to understand the nature of the damocloids.

The Damocloids are the only dynamical group among minor planets that traverses or "joins" the two worlds. At perihelion they are inner planets, at aphelion they are outer planets. They are actually dead or inactive comets, very small in size (5 or 10 Km, like comets), with a tendency for moving in retrograde and highly inclined orbits, also like comets.

When I wrote "The Centaurs and Passion", I was unaware of the existence of the damocloids or damoclians. Today, I consider my thoughts there as being particularly descriptive of damocloids. I believe that they apply to centaurs of course, but the line of reasoning contains the essence of how to understand the damocloids and comets. As I mentioned, I feel that centaurs are transition objects that have cometary characteristics but they are shown in a milder, less extreme way.



Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 00:30:46 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] more Damoclian thoughts

When examining charts like --for example-- that of D-Day (6 Jun 1944), and if one considers the many asteroid contacts that can de descriptive of the event in the chart, the need arises to distinguish between levels or domains, to articulate the structure of those contacts, i.e., to analyze in terms of layers of meaning.

All contacts, assuming that they are tight enough (orbs around 1 degree, critical aspects to the chart's main foci: angles, Sun, Moon, Node, etc.), are significant, but if one does not have a clear picture of the whole, it is easy to get lost into triviality and the flat interpretation that are so common in astrology when focal determination is not taken into account.

Let's take, for example, 2 sets of contacts at the landing in Omaha Beach:

Damocles =  6Pi42
Moon = 7Sa47
1997MD10 = 7Vi14

the Moon is here being crossed by the 2 damoclians. I feel that this represents the waves of young soldiers clashing with the German defenses at the Beach, in accordance with the almost perpendicular orbital crossing of the 2 damoclian pseudo-comets. This could mean the crucifixion of many of them dying like insects... There is something swift and quick that I associate not with orbital velocity in this case but with

1-) the diving represented by the very high latitudes, and
2-) their orbital --almost defining-- link with Mars.

Which, considered together, gives me the feeling of something that gets loose but at the same time is very concentrated and intense. The intense concentration comes from the small size of the damoclians united with their very acute, truly "aerodynamic" motion allowed by very high latitudes, their exttreme eccentricity, and their Martial nature.

On the other hand, we have in the same chart something like:

Mars  =  8Le29
BU48  =  8Aq40
TD10  =  8Sc41
RZ215 =  9Sc11

Here we have also something that can be associated with the invasión, but here we are at another level, with BU48 and TD10. The Mars opposition is a clear indication of the landing at Normandy, the full-blown confrontation, but this is being described in Martial terms (the military operation) instead of Lunar terms (the people, the sacrifice of thousands of human lives). Another difference, which is the point I want to make about the damoclians, is that BU48 and TD10 are also "cometary" but in a different scale, a "macro-scale".

BU48 is very Plutonian, almost trans-Neptunian, like an extension of Pluto that reaches into the world of the centaurs (hence the image of Alastor, the black stallion of Pluto's chariot), while TD10 is a cosmic incrustation into the centaur world (hence the image of Ixion, the father of the centaurs crucified on a rotating wheel. RZ215 is a scattered-disk object.)

The inner solar system, from the asteroid belt inwards (the terrestrial planets, the world of Apollos, etc.) is the "micro" scale, while the centaurean world is "macro" (and the transneptunian is a sort of "cosmic" or *historical* scale). Then, the "Jupiter group" (SG35, LE31, GM137) is transitional, and the asteroid belt is the "meso" scale, like a sort of very open market of possibilities and multitudinous variations of centering, stabilizing, adaptive, assimilative activity, like a ring that holds together and at the same time separates the 2 worlds, like a barrier, a membrane, a protective ring which in society is represented by social institutions and the divisions of labor.

The Damocloids, then, must be seen in the light of these structural "spaces" of the solar system. I do not want to speculate more on their nature, and I do not pretend that you follow the interpretations I have given of the meaning of the different levels or structural spaces. You can develop your own meanings. You can consider this "picture" of the Solar System purely speculative, but the fact is that it is based on very real and obvious facts that must be taken into account when working with asteroids, and represents something that is not yet formed, a picture that is only beginning to emerge from the slow but steady research into the astrological nature of the slow-moving, "macro-cosmic" asteroids.



Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 09:43:36 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] more Damoclian thoughts, II

I have given the list of known damocloids several times in the past. These messages represent my effort in getting familiar with them and seeing them in a coherent and ordered --layered-- perspective of the whole, i.e., the place they hold in the solar system.

Let's see first the complete list of Damoclians or pseudo-damoclians known so far; they are ordered from the "most ancient" to the "youngest":

1996PW, period 3600 years
2000AB229, period 377 years
2000HE46, period 199 years
1997MD10, period 139 years
1999LD31, period 121 years
2000TT12, period 80 years
1999XS35, period 77 years
1998WU24, period 59 years
Damocles, period 41 years
1998QJ1, period 38 years
2000DG8, period 35 years
1999RG33, period 29 years
1999LE31, 23 years
1998HO121, period 19 years
2000VU2, period 18 years
Hidalgo, period 14 years

Of these, only HO121 and TT12 have badly-determined orbits. The orbit of TT12 is so badly determined that it is not a damoclian according to the MPC elements, while it is according to the Astorb elements. It may disappear from the list in the near future.

Now let's see the main characteristics of Damoclians as a group:

1- They are dynamically like comets:

      a-  very high orbital inclination. Examples of maximum geocentric latitudes, in degrees: AB229=78, MD10=78, WU24=73, Damocles=79 (it actually can reach more than 85 degrees!), DG8=65, RG33=53, Hidalgo=62. The inclination acquires a dramatic dimension in damocloids, it becomes "very eloquent", essential to their nature.

      b-  frequent retrograde orbits. The following in the list are retrograde: 2000DG8, 1999LE31 (Melanippe), 2000HE46, #20461=1999LD31. Retrograde heliocentric motion, found only in comets before damoclians were discovered, is a unique characteristic of them among the whole population of asteroids.

      c-  very small size. Typical assumed sizes, based on a theoretical albedo, are 7, 3, 8, 6, 4, 5, 10 (Damocles), 2, 13, 18, 16, 12 (kilometers/diameter)... This is another clear characteristics of comets, and dramatizes the difference in nature between damoclians and centaurs, which are typically 10 times larger.

      d-  they come from the outer part of solar system, entering the inner part. With the exception of the "Jupiter group" (like Melanippe/LE31), almost all of them come from the realms of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and trans-Plutonian space. Check out their aphelion distance:

------------------>Saturn = 9.
------------------>Uranus = 19.
------------------>Neptune = 30.
------------------>aphelion of Pluto = 49.

but unlike many comets, besides the obvious lack of a coma:

2- They do not cross the Earth's path, but remain near the aphelion-perihelion range of Mars and the asteroid belt. I already commented that this characteristic ties their meaning to that of Mars, since Mars is their "lower" limit. The only exception is 1999XS35, which was identified at the MPC as a "potentially hazardous asteroid" and can now be found among the Apollo (Earth-crossing) asteroids; considering the orbit of XS35, this classification is somewhat meaningless (remember that for the MPC/IAU the "damocloids"  dynamic group does not officially exist). Let's see the perihelion distance of the group:

------------------>Earth = 1.0
------------------>Aphelion of Mars = 1.7
------------------>Vesta = 2.36

Consider these thoughts like successive approximations, where it is necessary for me to repeat the same thing many times.



Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:39:50 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] more Damoclian thoughts, III

In the previous messages we saw that the Damoclians are the asteroid group that most resembles comets. It is evident that an exploration of the meaning of damocloids can clarify the possible or probable meaning of comets, and viceversa, and that they are unique in several respects:

1- In the official full list of more than 120,000 asteroids (121,432), there are only 4 that are retrograde: 1999LD31, 1999LE31, 2000DG8, and 2000HE46. All 4 are damocloids.

2- In the list of the 20 (out of 121,000) asteroids with highest orbital inclination, 7 of them are damocloids.

3- they are the only group that traverses from the outer solar system to the inner solar system.

I would like to explore further here characteristic "3", which I have suggested could be seen as objects that can completely transform their nature from "outer" planet  to "inner" planet. To avoid misunderstandings, I reiterate that a-) this idea is based exclusively on dynamics, on their motion and frequency, their "gesture", their "music", and b-) "outer" and "inner" is a technical term that refers to the structure of the solar system, and has nothing to do with "outer world" or "inner world"; the only implications are "slow", long-wave, "very open", and "fast", short-wave. It is up the each astrologer's personal symbolical codes to interpret the meaning of this astronomical fact and distinction.

These changes from "macro" (the Saturn-Pluto world of the centaurs) to "meso" and "micro" (the asteroid belt and Mars), characteristic of the damocloids and unique to them, are expressed in extreme differences in velocity when at aphelion and when at perihelion.  On a mammoth, superlative scale, we have that unique object, 1996PW, which at perihelion at the asteroid belt moves 3700 faster than when at aphelion, far beyond virtually every other asteroid orbit (sometimes it is called an "oortoid"  because of this).

When working with centaurs, one has become accustomed to these changes. But in the centaur world they are quite moderate when compared with the damocloids, which present these changes in a higer order of magnitude. The largest difference between aphelion and perihelion velocity among the centaurs (excluding the badly-determined orbits), is found in the motion of Asbolus, which is 8.8 times faster in aphelion that when in perihelion, followed by Pholus (6.9), and Nessus (5.6). But check out the largest differences among the Damocloids:

AB229 = 297.5
MD10 = 197.3
LD31 = 86.2
HE46 = 86.7
WU24 = 92.8
Damocles = 52.4

This seems to confirm the idea that their properties are different; seeing the numbers, one can "feel" that "something different is going on"...

One analogy that always pops in my mind is that of homeopathy. Is any of you an expert in homeopathy? (I am not). What is the difference between a "potency" of 10 and a "potency" of 100 and one of 1000? What happens when one "jumps" from 10 to 100?

Homeopathy is also a good analogy in terms of the minuscule size of asteroids, they come in "homeopathic doses". And in the comparison of centaurs with damocloids, we have seen that this "factor of ten" is also evident in their size (Damoclians are 10 times smaller).

In other words, the nature of Damoclians is to move from "high" to "low", in a vertical way. This verticality is seen in their orbits of extreme eccentricity (the perpendicularity, crossing angles close to 90), and in their very high inclinations, which also tend to approach 90 degrees. They evidently are "super-dynamical", almost "aerodynamical".

Other much faster asteroids, such as Icarus, Talos, or Phaethon, are also "aerodynamical", but in this case the symbolism is tied to the Sun, while the symbolism of Damoclians is tied to Mars, besides the fact that the Apollos --or any other dynamical group-- never cross the navel of the solar system (the asteroid belt) and go to the other half of the body.

I have always associated the very open and eccentric centaurean orbits with very large wings, but the wings metaphor doesn't come to my imagination when the eccentricity reaches these extreme levels. This is why now I think that the *some* (not all) of the images in "The Centaurs and Passion" may apply more to the damoclian group and to comets.

I already suggested several images that come to me, such as the diving, the criss-crossing, the guerrilla fighting (see my brief comments on Omaha Beach), guided by the Martian overtones of the orbits (they even resemble the arrow in the symbol of Mars). I also suggested already that the Damoclians may be true revolutionaries and agents of transformation...

Another image that comes is that of digestion. The digestive process exemplifies the transformation of one thing into the other, the "potentiation" mentioned regarding homeopathy, the "travel" of food from upper to lower as it is transformed into energy and substance, etc.



Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2002 11:24:18 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] 1998-HO121

Any orbit-crosser that goes up to Saturn or beyond at aphelion, and up to at least this side of Jupiter (or, more typically, the asteroid belt) at perihelion is a Damoclian to me:

               q       Q
1920 HZ      1.950   9.545
2000 QJ46    1.922   9.846
2000 VU2     3.094  10.780
1998 HO121   2.935  11.293
1999 LE31    4.310  11.971
2001 QF6     2.227  12.050
1999 RG33    2.144  16.662
2002 CE10    2.047  17.587
2001 YK61    3.272  18.269
2000 DG8     2.231  19.360
1998 QJ1     2.112  20.492
1991 DA      1.572  22.079
1998 WU24    1.421  29.024
2000 HE46    2.356  45.134
1999 LD31    2.384  45.214
1997 MD10    1.544  51.821
2000 AB229   2.293    103
2002 RP120   2.474    114
1996 PW      2.546    556

With the exception of LE31/Melanippe, they all cross "the navel" (the asteroid belt) and travel from the inner to the outer solar system. None other of the dynamical groups does that.

I will add RP120 soon to Riyal in place of the Apollo 2001OG108, which was reclassified as a comet.


NOTE: some recent thoughts on the damoclian WU24 can be found in my examination of Gorecki.

Return to index page