Date: Fri, 15 Oct 1999 23:06:22 -0600
Subject: [crp] Pylenor

I was looking at some lists of centaur names, trying to find some other possibility for 1994TA besides Elatus.

The story of Elatus finds a parallel in its orbit in the area of Chiron and in its smaller size and smaller importance... but I don't feel anything particular regarding the astrological characteristics of TA and the story, so far.

The orbit of JV127, though it could change a little with more observations in the future, is practically identical to that of TA, and could very well be Elatus.

But there is a name that I found very appealing:

Pylenor (the man from the mountain pass) "Having been wounded by Heracles, washed himself in the river Anigrus, thus providing the river with a peculiar odour."

I like this image and symbol a lot, and can feel it in 1994TA. It is just a feeling, but it is a feeling that I don't have with Elatus. It resonates in what I feel about the relationship of TA with surgery, with bleeding, and with fear.

The peculiar odour of the river is all the gothic atmosphere of TA.

"the mountain pass" is the region between Saturn and Uranus.

So I would like to propose this name and see if we can find it related to what we feel about 1994TA. I like the image of Pylenor washing his wounds in the river, and making the river "unclean" due to the odour of these wounds and his blood... it has a very strong centaurean appeal to me, and it has many redeeming possibilities.



Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 20:50:44 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Centaur names

Although the orbits of the newest centaurs are still tentative and may change in the future, I think it is a useful exercise trying to see if there are reasons for giving them some specific centaur names. Of course I am not settled in this and it is still premature, but want to share my reasoning with you.

Let's consider "Elatus" first, and the orbit of 1994TA. In a past post I mentioned why I think "Pylenor" is a better name for 1994TA. 1999JV127 has an orbit almost identical with 1994TA (a=16.72/16.74, e=0.359/0.303, range au=10-22/11-21), so it could also be Elatus. The main difference in their orbits is the inclination (TA=5 degrees, JV=25 degrees). In my opinion, this much higher inclination is a good description of the image of Herakles arrow being directed to his arm and passing through to Chiron's knee... the arrow path was "skewed" by JV127's inclination.

And from what we have been seeing here, Hylonome seems as a good name for 1995DW2. Therefore it is only logical to look for her mate Cyllarus, and we can find it in the (tentative at present) orbit of BU48. Take a look at the numbers: a=25.45/25.06, e=0.247/0.274, range au=18-30, 18-32). Again, the only difference is in the inclination (DW2=4 degrees, BU48=16 degrees). Perhaps the highest inclination of BU48 can be seen as a description of his being killed by a javelin from an unknown hand... Hylonome then killing herself by jumping with her body over the javelin's point.

And let's consider SN55, which is in danger of being re-classified out of the centaurs category. Because of its large size and extreme eccentricity, we have been seeing in it an image of Eurytus, the wildest centaur. But, from the dynamical considerations that I commented in a past post, there is in my opinion a better name for him: Helops, of whom is said <<attended Pirithous' wedding and fought in the battle against the LAPITHS. While fleeing from Pirithous fell from a precipice into the top of a tree and impaled his body.>>

This "falling from a precipice" is a very apt description of what happens to his orbit, which literally falls into a precipice as it approached Jupiter around 1956 and catastrophically shrinked his orbit by more than 100 years. I know this "fall" may not come true as we have a better orbit calculation, but the "being impaled" is proper anyway to its extreme eccentricity, more than it is apparent in the reference to Eurytus.

Eurytus is well served by HD12, travelling from the Jupiter/Saturn region to outside Neptune's orbit. Apart from SN55-Helops, only Asbolus has larger eccentricity than HD12.

We already have Okyrhoe, Chiron's daughter, which seems a good name for SG35, as proposed by Robert. This is from a post I wrote in the past: "SG35 is feminine ("graceful", shorter orbit, faster). I feel SG35's orbit as feminine and also as a child among the others. The swiftness of motion can be seen as graciousness and youth, and specially "youth" is very appropriate for SG35, the "youngest" by discovery and also because its cycle never goes "past 26". Then you have a sort of "offspring" of Chiron, with an orbital period which is exactly half that of Chiron, his "father", being tied to Saturn too, but also "joyfully" coming to Jupiter. The feminine association comes from the size of its orbit compared with the others (females would be smaller), but also because it is less aggressive or impetuous than the others with larger eccentricity. Its swifter movement suggests graciousness, which is also a feminine attribute. These things make me comfortable with naming it after Chiron's adolescent daughter."

With this we would have a name for all the main centaurs (and some others), except 1998QM107. For this one I don't have a strong case yet, but I like the name "Orneus", which in Dieter's translation is related to "attack, to rush off". He participated in the battle with the Lapiths but fled unharmed, so he is a "fugitive". Orbitally, QM107 is tied to Uranus more than any other centaur so far, never approaching the realm of Saturn, which to me is a good description of the centaurs that fled from that battle unharmed, of which I have: Lycabas, Medon, Melaneus, Mermerus, Pisenor, Thaumas, and Orneus. Among these, my feeling goes for Orneus, although I need some more references about him before I can make a case.

With these considerations, then, my ideas and feelings are:

1994TA = Pylenor
1995DW2 = Hylonome
1998QM107 = Orneus
1998SG35 = Okyrhoe
1999HD12 = Eurytus
1999JV127 = Elatus
1995SN55 = Helops
1998BU48 = Cyllarus



Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 16:23:09 -0600
Subject: [crp] TF35

The orbit of TF35, recently re-calculated, though not yet as accurate as that of QM107, will probably show only minor changes. Because it moves much slower than SG35, it will not show the same wild variations that SG35 has shown, but will probably behave like QM107, whose variations have been mild. I think we can begin to give it a try in charts.

Anyway, lately I'm getting tired of nameless and faceless bodies, and I see no reason not to call them something, if the name used has a solid ground of astronomical and metaphorical reasoning.

The following characteristics are very clear in TF35, and make it somewhat unique:

1- it has the longer period of all the known centaurs so far (139 years)
2- it is the only one that goes as far as Nessus into the region of Pluto (37 au)
3- it is the only Uranus-Pluto linker so far (Nessus is Saturn-Pluto)

#1 makes it reasonable to look for an older centaur, like the "father" of someone else.
#2 makes it reasonable to look for a name connecting it with Pluto.
#3 makes it reasonable to see it wilder, less connected to human events than Nessus.

There is a name that satisfies that: "Ophion" (from "snake"), the father of the "Amycus" who died at the battle with the Lapiths. Therefore Ophion had lost his son, and this can be a good symbol of:

1- its connection with Nessus and with Pluto
2- the "older" quality of his long orbit
3- the violent quality of his being a crosser.

I had dismissed this name before, once I realized that "Ophion" was also the name given to a primal divinity, a Titan who was husband of Eurynome and is said that they both ruled the world before the age of Cronus. This would make Ophion a good name for one of the trans-neptunians, not for a centaur.

But Ophion is mentioned nonetheless by Ovid as a centaur, the father of Amycus. From the scant information I have on this, it is the only name that makes me "feel" it related to TF35, so I leave the proposition to someone else that may like it.



Date: Fri, 19 Nov 1999 11:56:26 -0600
Subject: [crp] Re: Brian G. Marsden about TNO and Centaurs

<<So we can indeed celebrate and claim that today we acquired our 200th known TNO. But we don't know what that means.>> BRIAN MARSDEN

This is great. This article shows how ambiguous centaur classifications are at this moment, and how it is not possible to have a rigorous definition.

His mention of SN55 is interesting, He says that it is probably a scattered-disk object like TL66 --which I guess may be the reason why it has not been found these weeks that it was supposed to be in opposition.

He also says that TD10 <<is "both" a centaur and a TNO, but it is currently being classified as neither.>>

His mention of comets is also interesting:

<<There are other comets, such as 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 and 39P/Oterma, with current orbital characteristics that could also allow them clearly to be classified as centaurs.>>


Considering the ambiguity of classification, I would like to bring to the attention of this list a trend that has developed in the Centaurs list regarding "Melanippe" as a daughter of Chiron. I had suggested that Melanippe is 1999LE31. The reasoning was in the post of 13th Nov. which I reproduce here (old stuff for those that are in the other list):

[from Ann - "Atlantic"]
<<... Melanippe (who fled to the forest to bear the buren of her labour) as she is "living on the edge of a forest" doing her "retreat"!!!>>

These words could describe 1999LE31, which moves retrograde throughout the zodiac ("fled to the forest", "living in the edge", "doing her retreat", "hiding from his father and from the other centaurs", "consorted with a human"

1999LE31 has about the same period of 1998SG35-Okyrhoe (23 years), which puts it in the "daughter" of Chiron category, i.e., with an orbital period half that of Chiron. The main difference, apart from being retrograde heliocentrically (like comet Halley), is that it crosses Jupiter, while SG35-Okyrhoe does not; they both cross Saturn and move between Jupiter and Saturn exclusively -- the faster motion and the proximity to Jupiter stands out to me as an indication of youth, of adolescence among the rest of the centaurs.

This crossing of Jupiter is the reason why 1999LE31 is not classified as a centaur, but as far as I am concerned, if SG35 is considered a centaur, then LE31 is also one, and a very special one, since it is one of the few objects that move retrograde. This is the reason why it is included among the main bodies of Riyal (you can see it always in red). LE31, living in the edge of the centaur world, almost not being one, hiding from them "in shame", consorting with humans, describes to me the situation of LE31 very well.

Among the recently discovered objects, LE31 has been observed fairly well: 107 days, and although this is not enough to have an accurate orbit, the orbit does not seem to suffer from the instabilities of SG35 that made it shift positions wildly as the orbit was refined.

A daily ephemeris of LE31 for 1999 can be found in my site, where it appears together with the transneptunians and with Heracles and Damocles. The table is made with Netscape, so if it doesn't look right, you must diminish the font size of your browser, or print it.

and from another post (15 Nov):

The discovery observations of 1999LE31 are found in MPC-J99M29 of June 25, 1999, 17:36 UT (this is the day of the announcement). The first photographic plate (...) was taken May 17, 1999, at 9h10m36s UT in Lincoln Laboratory ETS, New Mexico. Its position at that first photograph was 6,45 Sagittarius.



Date: Tue, 23 Nov 1999 08:11:34 -0600
Subject: [Centaurs] Re: mythology

... What I have come to think is that this is up to the astronomers' commission that gives names to the new objects, whether they want to remain Greek-biased or open themselves --and all astrologers after them-- to names from other cultures.

You can read in Zane's site part of a letter from Dr. Marsden where he says it has been decided to name plutinos after under-world deities and cubewanos after creation deities. (I had forgotten about this reference and found it again yesterday). And since they have been so open to suggestion from the public from many years already in the non-orthodox naming of asteroids, I guess they will be open to all kind of suggestions and may be willing to accept them.

But some of these "archetypal" objects are of a different category, because they represent a new type (or types) of objects, completely unknown to astronomy --and to mankind--, constituting milestones in the history of solar system astronomy, and essential in the understanding of its origins and evolution. I believe that they are part of a totally new paradigm in our understanding of the solar system, and, from our perspective as astrologers, a totally new paradigm in astrology. They are not seen in the same "importance" category as the thousands and thousands of regular asteroids: they represent something new, and for the moment they are very few (I mean objects like TL66).

For these reasons I believe astronomers will have the prerogative in the case of TL66 and the like, and will put more effort in naming these objects in a way that is consistent with their role in the solar system. If they are going to use Greek mythology or not, we will have to wait and see. But I find it significant to see how there may still be perfectly consistent beings of Greek mythology that are still unused and that represent very well the role of these objects.

Apart from that, in my case, it is more an exercise in imaginative thinking and of enjoying myself with it.



Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 21:31:17 -0600
Subject: [A-Urania] Re: centaurs, tnp's, and animals

I always use the orbital behavior as a metaphor that guides me in the understanding of minor planets. I believe that any characteristic ascribed to a minor planet must be matched by its orbital "gesture" and the place it occupies in the solar system. One cannot treat a very slow-moving asteroid that takes a whole human lifetime to make a complete cycle the same way one takes another that makes a cycle in less than one year. Astronomically speaking, all asteroids fall into categories according to their orbital characteristics, which translate into a particular way or form of astrological action. We can call this an "orbital paradigm" as opposed to a "mythological paradigm" or a mere "name paradigm", in terms of how we approach astrologically their meaning in charts.

Okyrhoe's period (23-24 yrs) is about half the period of Chiron (50 years), which is apt for Chiron's offspring. No other centaur moves that fast. This is the main reason why I perceive it as younger or youthful. It crosses Saturn but never crosses Jupiter, which means it is much less aggressive than other centaurs like Asbolus, Pholus, or Nessus, which are wild crossers travelling from Neptune and beyond to the region around Saturn. Okyrhoe on the other hand moves only from Saturn to Jupiter, this approach to Jupiter being another reason why I feel it is youthful. The other reason of course is the name currently in use (not yet official and not likely to be given a name soon), since Chiron's daughter always appears in her teens or early 20's in the stories... something that matches its revolution period anyway.

I don't see this related in any way to potency, but it has a lot to do with quality. A slow-moving planet is not the same as a fast-moving planet (regular main-belt asteroids move 20 to 40 times faster than any of the other centaurs). Centaur transits, for example, can be used to trace the main points of a person's biography in the same way we are used to with Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. You cannot do this with a regular asteroid going around each point of the chart every 4 years or less. So the approach to Okyrhoe is different since it moves 3 or 4 times faster than most centaurs. So rather than childhood Okyrhoe in this sense is probably more akin to adolescence.

One more factor contributing to "lessening the weight" of SG35 among the other centaurs is that its orbit has been very unstable, with positions varying wildly each time a better orbit determination was available. Therefore it has been "left for later" more than the other centaurs. Only in the last 2 or 3 months a better orbit calculation has been available and there has not been enough time to check its positions. The positions are still more uncertain than even UG5 and TF35, discovered later.

I live in Costa Rica, which is part of Central America. But even if Panama is in the same region (and next to Costa Rica), historically it has never been part of Central America. It is the same with Okyrhoe: it is the Panama of the Centaur (Central America) region.



Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2000 13:47:00 -0600
From: (Juan Revilla)
Subject: [crp] Re: naming proposals

here is a short summary:

Hylonome = 1995DW2
We discussed this one last year, and it seemed then to me that there was consensus, based on the astrological experience. I see her as "tragic beauty", "song of death", purity/anti-purity, the yearning for the lost paradise, "eternal youth", etc. This corresponds with Neptune/Uranus.

Pylenor = 1994TA
...The story of Pylenor washing his wounds in the river and giving to the waters a specific odor is quite distinctive and unique among centaurs. Dieter's translation as "the man of the mountain pass" is a very accurate description of the Saturn/Uranus boundary. I still cannot express its meaning clearly, but it goes in the direction of shame, neglect, poverty, social awkwardness, loneliness, immorality, deprivation of feelings... and of course "rivers of blood" and "reverse nudity", i.e., the deprivation or laceration of intimacy ("an exposed wound").

Elatus = 1999UG5
Since the orbit of 1999UG5 is well-known, I suggest that UG5 be named "Elatus", because its orbit matches that of Chiron very closely.

Orneus = 1998QM107
I don't have a feeling for this one yet, but it reminds me of Nijinksy dancing Debussy's "Prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune". It is also the signature of Charles Chaplin (Sun) and of Debussy (Moon). Anyway astronomically it is very much like an Uranian moon or extension. Orneus managed to "escape" from the Lapiths' wedding...

Okyrhoe = 1998SG35
Okyrhoe has been discussed and apparently everybody accepted it.

Melanippe = 1999LE31
Although I understand "Melanippe" is another name for Okyrhoe, I have suggested to use this name for the retrograde 1999LE31, with an orbit similar to Melanippe's story "hiding" from his father because of her pregnancy.

Hylaeus = 1999OX3
This is only intuition, probably because of the sound the name produces in my imagination, which my mind associates with Neptune/Aquarius. I have no clue as to its astrological meaning.

There are other names that I have suggested, such as "Eris" for one of the Damocloids (probably 1999RG33), and "Typhon" for TL66, the last being based on my experience.


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Tue, 09 May 2000 19:24:55 -0600
Subject: [crp] a name for TD10 and BU48

I also was looking for a name for 1998BU48 and found one that I like.  BU48 is also a little different than the other centaurs, and it is more tied to Pluto than the others.  Its aphelion distance is the same as that of Pluto, and it is the farthest distance reached by any other centaur.  Its period is also considerably longer than all the others: 193 years, followed by 146 years of OX3 and 134 of TF35.  It is like a Pluto companion, but its eccentricity is larger than that of Pluto, i.e., its wings are larger, It encompasses the whole of Pluto's distance reach, and, unlike Pluto which comes only as close as Neptune, BU48 almost reaches the aphelion distance of Uranus, coming one step closer than Pluto.

The name I like for BU48 is not a centaur name, so I imagine that it will be rejected and most of won't like it, but 1998BU48 is not among the other centaurs anyway, it is much farther than all of them, and much closer to Pluto.  I imagine it as the "twilight" aura that surrounds or announces the realm of Pluto as we approach it, like a very large set of Plutonian wings that extend Pluto's atmosphere to us.  This "atmosphere" is a good symbol of such long-wave open orbits.  Its name is "Alastor", "the avenger", one of the 4 bat-winged, flame-tressed steeds which draw Pluto's black chariot.  This name at first may be natural only to a plutino, but it depends on how close one sees BU48 to Pluto.  I think it is very close, and would feel comfortable with this name.


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 07:32:07 -0600
Subject: [crp] Re: a name for BU48

Alastor as Pluto's chariot' winged "stallion" would look perfect for a Plutino, but Plutinos are too many, and the four steeds of the chariot seem too prominent for this.  The pairing with Pluto can be seen better when we consider the aphelion distance:

aphelion of Pluto = 49.4 AU
aphelion of BU48 = 46.3 AU

the next in the list is Nessus, with 37 AU.  The difference is evident between BU48 and the rest, and it can be see how deeply Plutonic it is.  The semimajor axis offers another clue:

Pluto = 39.56
BU48 = 33.38
Neptune = 30.11
OX3 = 27.71
TF35 = 26.20

BU48 is the only one to break the rule, the only "trans-neptunian" centaur, and it seems proper to see it as more fully belonging to the sphere of Pluto than the rest, by a far margin.

I would be happy to choose a "more proper" centaur name for BU48 if a better one is found, but for these reasons it is not incongruent to call it --for the moment at least-- "Alastor" (the avenger).  It is a beautiful name and a "terrific" metaphor, while still keeping the "flying" and the "horse" imagery, but paying respect to the differences between BU48 and the rest.

And we also have 3 other alternatives for the next objects similar to BU48 still to be found.  Because of their smaller number, centaurs have a distinction among all the other tnp's and asteroid discoveries.

Another thing is that "Rich's Pegopedia" doesn't give the mythological documentary sources.  One would have to find where are these names mentioned, IF they belong to classical mythology at all.

Anyone has thought of a better alternative name for BU48?

I recently imagined it as a sort of cosmic egg from which a serpent comes out when it is broken, because of its Plutonian associations and the sound qualities = B-U-O (eight=OCHO in Spanish, while "8" is a double "o" and a serpent anyway)


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 21:27:01 -0600
Subject: [crp] Alastor -- the source?

I found this.  Maybe this is the source.  Somebody who can read Latin could confirm it.

<<..nota signatus Alastor stabant ante fores iuncti saevumque fremebant crastina venturae spectantes gaudia praedae.>>
CLAUDIAN, full name CLAUDIUS CLAUDIANUS (c.  370-408), Roman poet, born probably in Alexandria.  He went to Rome about 395 and became a protégé of the general and statesman Flavius Stilicho, whom he honored in his poetry.  Claudian also won the patronage of the Roman emperor Honorius (384-423).  Scholars admire much of Claudian's work and consider him the last important Latin classical poet.  Claudian's best-known work is the epic poem Rape of Proserpine.  He also wrote epics and panegyrics celebrating the deeds of Honorius and the Roman wars.
Then there is Claudian, a kind of avatar of Lucan, who dominates all the Fourth Century with the terrific clarion of his verse--a poet who wrought a striking and sonorous hexameter, beating out, amid showers of sparks, the right epithet at a blow, attaining a certain grandeur, filling his work with a puissant breath of life.  In the Western Empire falling more and more into ruin, amid the confusion of the repeated disasters that fall upon it, unchecked by the constant threat of invasion by the Barbarians now pressing in hordes at the very gates of the Empire whose bolts and bars are cracking under the strain, he revivifies Antiquity, sings of the Rape of Proserpine, lays on his brilliant colours, goes by with all his fires ablaze in the gathering gloom that is overspreading the world.
<<I am curious as to why Slavitt (p.  50) adopts Parrhasius' reading of Aethon as the name of one of Pluto's horses instead of Jeep's emendation to Cthonius that recent editors have preferred (DRP 1.284).>>

Claudian, De Raptu Proserpinae, edited, with introduction, translation and commentary by Claire Gruzelier.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Platnauer, M.  (ed.  & tr.), Claudian, 2 volumes (Harvard UP : Cambridge, Mass.  & London 1922 [and reprints]) Loeb Classical Library Numbers 135 and 136 ISBN 0-674-99150-8 (volume 1) and 0-674-99151-6 (volume 2) harback [De Raptu Proserpinae is in volume 2]

Isbell, H.  (tr.), The Last Poets of Imperial Rome.  (Penguin Books : Harmondsworth 1971) [Claudian, 'Rape of Proserpine' on pp.  75-106]

Slavitt, David R., trans., Broken Columns: Two Roman Epic Fragments: The Achilleid of Publius Statius and The Rape of Proserpine of Claudius Claudianus.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997.  Pp.  xii, 98.  $38.50/$14.95. ISBN 0-8122-3424-3 (hb)/ISBN 0-8122-1630-X (pb).
<<Slavitt does not include the Latin.  It is a typical Slavitt verse distortion: cut, padded, paraphrased, rewritten and subject to sitcomedification.  His preface is worthless not to say erroneous and the afterword, while helpful for detailed background information, contains no annotations.  Without those annotations, few students can properly appreciate what is a really quite wonderful poem.  Gruzelier's translation is faithful prose and its commentary very accessible even to the Latinless.>>


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2001 18:54:46 -0600
Subject: [centaurresearchproject] 1999TD10 is now # 29981

They finally catched-up; it was about time...

This body is one of a kind, half scattered disk object, half centaur.  It comes very close to Saturn at perihelion (12 AU, perihelion passage Oct-Nov 1999), and goes to "the beyond" (190 AU) at aphelion.  Its probable size is about 80 Km

I like the name "Ixion" (Robert von Heeren's original proposal for TL66) for this one.  According to Robert von Heeren,

<<Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed.  Sir James George Frazer), E 1.20: Ixion fell in love with Hera and attempted to force her; and when Hera reported it, Zeus, wishing to know if the thing were so, made a cloud in the likeness of Hera and laid it beside him; and when Ixion boasted that he had enjoyed the favours of Hera, Zeus bound him to a wheel, on which he is whirled by winds through the air; such is the penalty he pays.  And the cloud, impregnated by Ixion, gave birth to Centaurus.>>

This, in my opinion, is an accurate description of its orbit: it penetrates or "impregnates" the world of the centaurs from the primordial world, while its very perpendicular orbit (eccentricity 0. 88) resembles a crucif_IXION, also described in its being bound to a wheel... the "primordial cloud" is the scattered disk which is the origin of centaurs, as was suggested by Robert.


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 16:32:38 -0600
Subject: Re: [centaurresearchproject] ephemeris update

Another thing to consider is that according to the Minor Planet Center definition, a centaur must have its semi-major axis below that of Neptune.  With this definition, the following would not be centaurs:

2001 SQ73
1999 OX3
1998 BU48
2000 QB243

This is using the Astorb orbits.  Using MPC, one would need to add 1996AS20.

The last 3 especially, OX3 - BU48 - QB243 still need some refinement, but the orbits are accurate enough and will change very little.  They qualify perfectly, astronomically speaking --considering that they are outside the strict centaur definition-- to be named after the 4 black stallions or "demon steeds" of Pluto's chariot: "Alastor", "Abathos", "Aethon" & "Nonios".

Recall that I had found one literary reference to Alastor at least in Claudius Claudianus, "De Raptu Proserpinae", which I downloaded from the Web but is in Latin, and I can't read it.  Can someone translate this passage?

"Orphnaeus crudele micans Aethonque sagitta
ocior et Stygii sublimis gloria Nycteus
armenti Ditisque nota signatus Alastor
stabant ante fores iuncti saevumque fremebant
crastina venturae spectantes gaudia praedae."

I think the 4 of them are described here: Orphnaeus - Aethonque - Nycteus - Alastor


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 17:06:48 -0600
Subject: [centaurresearchproject] more on Pluto's steeds.

I found another reference:

<<Abaster, Abastor.
<<Nom d'un des chevaux qui tirait le char de Pluton.  Les uns n'en ont compté que trois : Abaster, Amethée et Nonius; d'autres, avec Claudien (lib.  1, de raptu Proserpinæ).  en admettent quatre : Aethon, Orphné, Nycté et Abastor.  Leurs noms seuls déclarent ce qu'on entendait par ces chevaux, c'est-à-dire, la putréfaction et la volatilisation de la matière des Philosophes dans le vase, pendant que cette matière est au noir, ou qu'elle a atteint la couleur noire, signe de la véritable dissolution.  L'un de ces noms signifie noir,l'autre obscure,le troisième nuit,etc.  Voyez les Fables Égyptiennes et Grecques dévoilées, liv.  3, chap.  6.>>

Note how the name is transcribed in French:

Abaster or Abastor = Alastor

and how it is mentioned that the stallions are generally 3, but Claudian made them 4.  The text says something about alchemical symbolism, the black stallions being related to the putrefaction and volatilization of matter, black being the color of true dissolution.  One of the names means "black", the other "dark", the third one "night", etc.

Aethon is also translated as "Cthonius".


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2001 16:34:11 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] Naming the Centaurs (FZ53)

The Taliban regime (see my post on Afganistan a few days ago), on a different level, is another "incarnation" of FZ53:

Sun = 5,11 Libra
FZ53 = 5,45 Libra

I had made a suggestion about the naming of FZ53 time ago in the crp list. I didn't put it in my site because I am not sure of its value, but now that you ask, here are the posts I wrote then:

Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 10:30:36 -0600
Subject: [crp] perihels, and 2000FZ53


2000FZ53, which like Damocles, makes a significant difference of 4 degrees, is "knocking" at my door lately, and today I realized that it is a good candidate for Eurythus or Eurythion, for the following reasons:

1- Its orbit is accurate enough. The maximum calculated error after 10 years is 49", so with new orbital updates we may expect corrections probably of 10's of minutes only. It is actually more accurate than SG35/Okyrhoe (53" after 10 years), and has the same degree of uncertainty ("3").

2- It is one of the large "nomadic" crossers like Pholus, Nessus and Asbolus. At aphelion it goes beyond Neptune at 35 AU (Nessus=37 AU, Pholus 32 AU), and at perihelion it comes near Saturn at 12 AU (Nessus=11.8, Pholus crosses Saturn). As we can see, it is very similar to Nessus, just somewhat smaller.

3- It has the largest orbital inclination of all the centaurs, 35 degrees, much larger than the next in the list which is Pholus (24 degrees). The large inclination compensates for the somewhat smaller eccentricity or orbital range in terms of "wildness", which is Eurythus' main feature.

These, I think, could be good reason to call it "Eurythion", as Robert was asking about him not long ago.


Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 13:38:19 -0600
Subject: Re: AW: [crp] perihels, and 2000FZ53

The flat orbital plot will show an orbit very similar --slightly smaller-- than Nessus. But try plotting the orbital inclination, and FZ53 will stand out above all the others. It is the most "skewed" centaur, very remarkable.

Among the slow-moving or far asteroids (all 400+ of them), only the damocloids have inclinations of this magnitude. FZ53 is in this respect unique among centaurs and among transneptunians, having an inclination higher than all of them.

In fact, because of its very small size (m=11.4, probable diameter about 25 Km), FZ53 is like one of the damocloids.

Its aphelion-perihelion range is 34.9--12.4

BTW, for those interested in 3-D rotating and zooming orbital plots, there is a good freeware program that can be downloaded here with the updated asteroid orbital databases:


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 05:16:38 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] Naming the Centaurs (FZ53)

I highly recommend the "Planet's Orbits" freeware program. It allows to draw easily any orbit or combination of orbits you want. The databases are reasonably up to date, the diagrams are 3D and you can rotate in any direction you want, choose the center point, change the viewpoint, zoom in and out, etc. It's great. The only regret is that the diagrams come out very dark, so one has to either raise the monitor's brightness or paste the diagram to a graphics software.

I have uploaded 3 diagrams, made with the above software, except that I have enhanced the brightness and contrast. The diagrams include the orbit of Pholus for comparison purposes.

"fz53A.gif" shows the giant planets'orbits drawn on a horizontal line, so that the relative inclinations can be very well seen. Remember that Pholus has the largest inclination of all --after FZ53 (among the well-known orbits).

"fz53B.gif" is the same diagram rotated to make the orbit of Pholus appear as a line. The skewed nature of FZ53 appears very well, seen in comparison with Pluto and Pholus.

"fz53C.gif" is the same diagram rotated until it appears flat seen from above. This diagram allows us to see how the lack of an inclination perspective makes the orbit more indistinctive when seen only in terms of eccentricity and distance.


_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 17:33:53 -0600
Subject: Re: [Centaurs] This "naming" issue

The same thing happened, in my opinion, with the naming of 2000WR106-Varuna, in that the name fits the astrological characteristics  poorly.

This situation is not going to change. It will get worse as more names are given by astronomers in the months to come, putting in evidence that giving too much weight to a name is a hindrance for research, if not an absurdity.

I believe that this name-giving process --as I have expressed before-- is showing Astrology naked, i.e., showing what it is made of.

Relying on the name to assess astrological characteristics is not particular to asteroids nor new: it can be seen in the very limited view of Pluto and Neptune based on mythology alone, while in the case of Uranus more than 2 centuries ago the name-characteristics were practically ignored by everybody in favor of the orbital symbolism and empirical research. Why can't astrologers today do the same?

There will always be associations that we can find between a name and any other symbol, so that, for example, we can always find "plutonic" associations in any name whatsoever if we use our imagination. The truth is that, in my view, not only the plutinos are "plutonic": all the transneptunians are or should be, as well as all the centaurs.

This situation is a reminder that Astrology in general and particularly asteroid research is not name-playing. As far as I am concerned, the more abstract or neutral the name, the better, because my mind is less muddled. It is as, in a way, the name-associations tend to shout too loud to the mind, making it difficult to hear what the object is only whispering about itself.

If someone believes, for example, that "Inana" is the energy behind a dark and far asteroid named "mayonnaise" or "cheeseburger", who cares about how astronomers call it? Will it be less Inana because of that? Will Uranus be less or more Uranus if it were called  "Prometheus"? Can someone explain the astrological characteristics of Uranus from its name alone?


Return to index page