by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Neptunian Moon

The following news release was sent out by J.D. Harrington at NASA Headquarters in Washington on July 15th:

RELEASE: 13-215


WASHINGTON — NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new moon orbiting the distant blue-green planet Neptune, the 14th known to be circling the giant planet.

The moon, designated S/2004 N 1, is estimated to be no more than 12 miles across, making it the smallest known moon in the Neptunian system. It is so small and dim that it is roughly 100 million times fainter than the faintest star that can be seen with the naked eye. It even escaped detection by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew past Neptune in 1989 and surveyed the planet's system of moons and rings.

Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., found the moon July 1, while studying the faint arcs, or segments of rings, around Neptune. "The moons and arcs orbit very quickly, so we had to devise a way to follow their motion in order to bring out the details of the system," he said. "It's the same reason a sports photographer tracks a running athlete — the athlete stays in focus, but the background blurs."

The method involved tracking the movement of a white dot that appears over and over again in more than 150 archival Neptune photographs taken by Hubble from 2004 to 2009.

On a whim, Showalter looked far beyond the ring segments and noticed the white dot about 65,400 miles from Neptune, located between the orbits of the Neptunian moons Larissa and Proteus. The dot is S/2004 N 1. Showalter plotted a circular orbit for the moon, which completes one revolution around Neptune every 23 hours.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a cooperative project between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc., in Washington.

First of all, I'd like to pause here for a moment to reflect (all puns intended) on the fabulousness of the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Horsehead Galaxy as photographed in infrared by the Hubble Space Telescope
(photo credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage Team)  

I love what Hubble does - which you probably know by now. If Hubble was a guy, I'd absolutely marry him and happily pick up his digital socks for the rest of all eternity.

More to the point however (I know, get on with it already!) the two dates mentioned in this release are astrologically interesting. Obviously the fact that this news was released to us (the general public) on July 15th puts it at the opening of Uranus' station window.

That would be a station-retrograde window, suggesting that there is information 'yet to come' - and not just on Neptune's newest-found moon, though that will no doubt be part of the more worldly part of this process.

This moon was spotted ("found") on July 1st as SETI  astronomer Mark Showalter was investigating 'the arc of Neptune's rings,' suggesting a 'halo' effect and how we surround (ring) ourselves...and our Neptunian beliefs or ideals or disappointments or feelings of abject loss...with 'orbiting energies' or small bits of manifestation or thought through which we view greater life (the rest of space) and through which we are seen.

In thinking this through, I of course went back to Saturn - the most famously ringed of all planets. There is an unparalleled beauty in Saturn which seems strangely foreign to its list of associated astrological concepts (responsibility, time, structure, dedication, achievement, ability, effort, rules, tangible consequences and rewards)...foreign UNTIL, that is, until we recognize that Saturn does represent the cause-effect of earning.

That we work for will be given to us. That we don't earn we will neither fully understand the value of...or often end up having.

Saturn's hallmark human trait is "achievement" - that which we think of as success, however that manifests in your life. And here too there is an 'inner' and 'outer' perspective. What you consider your success may not be what other people think of as your successes.

And the difference between those two goals - however you see it - is generally the difference between hard core factual survival and everyday tangible life (Saturn) and that which we yearn to have or feel ourselves having as a life force powering our will to exist, to do more, to be a deeper, better person.

Which gets us back to Neptune. Or rather, the relationship and differences between Neptune and Saturn as astrological symbols - and why they are what they are.

Saturn is the outermost planet we can see with our 'unaided' eyes. It thus defines the farthest 'reach' in terms of human, corporeal, 'finite world' grasp. So we shouldn't wonder that Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn, the sign of achievement and what we can achieve in corporeal, real-world terms.

And yes, there is Saturn as the primary (ground-laying) ruler of Aquarius, with Uranus as the Aquarian outcome ruler. Aquarius is an air sign - it deals in theory. Thus what we can grasp in reality becomes the basis for what we think we can do in this world.

Together, these forces become our achievements (Capricorn and all things 10th house) and what we will garner (Aquarius and all things 11th house) from whatever we 'earn' a 'mastery of,' whether that's income or a sense of having a place in this world or society, acceptance by others and (maybe most importantly) a sense of having safely accomplished our premier human mission: finding a way to achieve some measure of freedom within ourselves. 

That 'freedom' is defined by each one of us in our own, entirely very special and individual way.

Beyond Saturn in planetary terms lies the realm of Uranus and Neptune: that which is known and relatively understood, but not governed by us. Uranus and Neptune symbolize the energy we can feel but not control, the vibrations of intuition and imagination, those sparks which are genius and that abject fear which drives us to madness.

As Uranus represents science, so we search.

But in the moment that we discover something, that enticing things we 'know but don't know' begins leaving the realm of the un-grasped as we 'try to get hold of it.'

That is the influx of energetics coming past Uranus and reaching the solidity of Saturn.

Moving beyond Uranus we have the wondrous world of Neptune, a planet so incredibly mysterious it defines the realm of imagination. For those of us bound up in our carbon-water Earth world, the idea that Neptune's inner mantle is composed of something which under planetary pressure (the 'pressure of existing') sheds diamonds which slowly accumulate at the planet's core is an idea so evocative it speaks reams to our inner sense of possibility.

And Neptune is magnetic. That it's moon Triton is the only known object which rotates its planet in retrograde motion (meaning Neptune rotates in one direction and Triton orbits in the other) suggests the electrical qualities of a generator. And indeed, the whole planet seems to 'generate' not only the physical magnetics to control a huge swath of space (in which orbit the Plutinos, all of which have fluctuating and variable allures which carry highly Neptunian characteristics) but the energetic which in following in...maybe enveloping, maybe mixing with, maybe pushing all other energies towards our solar systemic center (the core of our lives)...that suggests that everything about Neptune - including the discovery of another moon - is a heightening of the oh-so human ability to lose ourselves in ourselves, to hide behind our own veils of illusion or fear, to refuse to see our mammoth potential and 'diamond core' and to perceive that which may be true but which we least as yet...afraid to depend on.

Neptune's Moon Triton as photographed by Voyager
(photo credit NASA-JPL, August 1998)

Is it real, or is it Memorex?

Should I trust them? Do I trust myself?

Once Jupiter entered Cancer on June 26th we got a marked onset of emotional effects as signaled by three major planets being in the water element. Between June 23rd and July 6th, the lunar nodes (the Moon being our 'localized' or 'personal' sense of emotionality and feelings, inclusive of what or who prompts them) were at cross quarters.

Here are the links for those two stage-setting dynamics:

As for the finding of Neptune's moon, we don't have much information on S/2004 N 1 as yet. The fact that scientists are doing little more than giving it a charmingly banal number is the metaphysical equivalent of saying 'oh yes - THAT' as we take note of something we know we want to know more about...even though we also know (suspect?) that it may alter our feelings on much else.

So has life been between July 1st and July 15th. Through social/societal doings, our relationships and our relationship to relationships or how well we do-or-don't relate (the Lunar Nodes at Cross Quarters thing) and all the feelings and emotional experiences we've been having (the major planet grand trine in water) coming to know more about our ideals... our illusions... and as we reflect on our relationship to all the boundless possibilities which lie beyond our Neptunian longings,  illusions, yearnings, ideals and fears.

More information yet to come...from NASA with regards to this moon, from life - as pertains to that which we're just now discovering and reacting to - and from that which is our human spirit, which so sweetly if desperately wants to be securely known and loved both by ourselves and others both for what we are and what we aren't in the fullness of time and the totality of Reality.

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