The search for Pluto's discovery charts and
about the connections between Chiron's and Pluto's discoveries
by Robert von Heeren, founder of the Centaur Research Project, October 1999
Italian translation by Isabella Orsini! (Traduzone Italiano)
In June 1998 I had an interesting email-correspondence with Mr. Hecht from the Lowell Observatory
in Flagstaff Arizona, which is named after its founder Percival Lowell, who had predicted Pluto's discovery but failed to
discover it. His search programs started in 1905, but without any success.
But ironically Percival Lowell already had Pluto on a plate, but did not recognized it!!
Everyone does know that a student of him, Clyde Tombaugh, discovered Pluto later (after Lowell's death) using the Lowell
Observatory in Flagstaff. In his autobiography he mentioned - and that is quite outstanding and unique - the date and time,
at which he found Pluto (to that time called trans-neptunian Planet X or "Object Lowell") using a new "blink-comparator", which
switches very fast between two different plates: every fixed star will stay fix, but every moving object would blink.
According to his notes he found Pluto on February 18th, 1930 around 4 p.m. local time at Flagstaff = 23h00m UT.
This date is commonly known and accepted as the "discovery date" of Pluto, but I want to point out that it is the
moment, at which Tombaugh recognized Pluto on his plates, which dated earlier of course.
Of course this chart is still very interesting:
Moon in Scorpio in the fourth house: to "dig" deeply and to research within one's soul and "four walls".
A Leo Ascendant, Sun in Aquarius in the eighth house.
But a Pluto hidden in the twelfth house squaring Nessus near the MC?
Everyone can imagine that I began more and more to be interested in the date of the first plate or the discovery plate, at
which Tombaugh found Pluto.
But no chance: the earliest Lowell Observatory Circulars dated on March 1930 and gave many informations regarding
the first orbit theory for "Planet X" (the eccentricity was first assumed to be 0.9), dates and coordinates of later plates,
naming proposals (Minerva and Pluto mentioned including the "...Miss Venetia Burney, aged 11, of Oxford, England, suggested
for the first time the name Pluto. Minerva dropped out, because it was already given to minor planet No. 93).
But the first discovery plate was only mentioned by date: January 21 1930, second plate: 23.1.1930, third: 29.1.1930, not with the exact time.
The IAU-Circulars also only mentioned the dates, not the times.
So I contacted the Lowell Observatory directly.
They tried to cooperate in every possible way, it was really fantastic.
They sent me faxes with the first Lowell Observatory Circulars, but as I pointed out above, this Circulars did not include the exact times.
So I emailed once again to Mr. Hecht and finally he mailed back to me the following email:
>Dear Mr. von Heeren:
>We we have had success again thanks to Henry Giclas who has been an
>Astronomer here at Lowell since 1930, and is still here every day. Henry
>took me down to look at the observing logs and we were able to get the data
>The January 21st plate was taken from 10:30-11:30 pm Mountain mean time or
>5 hrs. 30 minutes UT on Jan 22.
>This plate was not used as a blink plate by Tombaugh because the images
>were fuzzy and the other two plates that he used to blink were good plates.
>It was used, however, as a check plate....
>...Please let me know if there is any more information you need. We would be
>happy to get it for you.
Everyone can imagine how happy I was with this informations.
The hunt had finally succeeded.
And what interesting circumstances on 21. January!
Tombaugh wrote himself about this first night, that the weather was a little bit bad and stormy,
the image therefore was "fuzzy": a good analogy to a Scorpio Moon (once again!)...
And this chart really is interesting:
Pluto in Cancer in the tenth house in opposition to Mars in Capricorn in the fourth house
and in a T-square with Nessus in Aries in the seventh house. A very high tension within this T-square.
A Pholus-Saturn-conjunction straight at the IC.
And again the moon in Scorpio, here in the second house (I take 5h30 UT, 221.1930, Flagstaff as Martin suggested)
and in conjunction to the descending lunar node in Scorpio! What a plutonic and powerful chart, but fuzzy...
Here is Chiron in close conjunction to the ascending node in Taurus IN CLOSE OPPOSITION TO THE MOON!!!
AND: Chiron is also within eighth house, a healing plutonic energy or a dangerous, wounding energy too?
Remember: This is not the plate, on/with which Tombaugh found Pluto, but it was his first shot and was used for a check later.
Let's take a look at the second plate, which IS the discovery plate:
In a Lowell Circular, dated on May 1 1930, the second plate is exactly given:
23. January 1930, 5h27m30s UT.
What has changed since January 21, the date of the first plate?
The moon still is in Scorpio and again in the second house, but has moved out of the strong opposition to Chiron
and the nodal axis. Nothing more is different.
And what changed until the final "discovery", which could also be described as awareness:
The Moon AGAIN is in the opposition to Chiron, in Scorpio, near the nodal axis, but in the fourth hosue, not in the second.
And Mars has moved out of the opposition to Pluto. Better emotional circumstances for a clear view, a discovery?
We have now three charts, closely related to Pluto's discovery, and every chart is outstanding, and individually impressive
and meaningful. Only with this three charts we can feel how Pluto was discovered and what Pluto's "invasion" in our
collective consciousness looked like.
1) Pluto was the first major planet, discovered by a non-european astronomer.
2) Pluto was the first major planet, which discovery occured long time after the actual discovery "watch"/survey and with using the aid
of technique. And it was also the first major planet, where the discoverer mentioned a discovery date, which was different from the observation date.
3) Pluto was the first major planet, discovered with a blink comparator and so with using "high-tech"-equipment, besides of using telescopes.
4) the Scorpio Moon is present in all three charts!
5) Chiron is very present at the ascending lunar node in Pluto's exile-sign: Taurus
and in that sign, in which Chiron will be discovered 57 years later (1977)!
6) the polarity Scorpio-Taurus, 2-8, Pluto-Venus (Libra ascendant e.g.) is accentuated in many ways so Pluto is clearly an
antipode, a counterpart, to Venus: the opposite of harmony, peace and balance!
And now let's have a look at Chiron's discovery charts!
Again we have a discoverer, Charles Kowal, who mentioned and published a different discovery date (1.11.1977, around 18h00 UT, Pasadena)
apart from the observation date. The date mentioned is again commonly known as THE discovery of Chiron, but keep in mind:
again we have the curiosity that the personal recognization of the finding does define the astronomer's personal discovery, so could it be
that this chart does say more about his personal consciousness, instead of telling us the collective meaning of the discovered body?
I assume the latter...
Nevertheless an interesting chart:
A wide triple conjunction in Scorpio (Sun, Uranus, Mercury) and Pluto-Venus in conjunction to the ascending node in Libra straight at the MC!!!
So what a connection to Pluto's discovery charts and major themes! A very special reception. A strong connection of Pluto and Chiron.
And Chiron is again in Taurus, near the position in Pluto's discovery charts.
But what and when was the discovery plate, the first shot of Chiron by Kowal?
That date and time is mentioned in a IAU-Circular, Chiron is there designated as "Slow moving object Kowal" and as minor planet
1977 UB, nobody saw the coma and therefore nobody recognised Chiron as a huge comet. (That was at the beginning of the eighties)
the discovery-shot/plate was at: October 18 1977, at 9h08m30s UT in Pasadena, about two weeks before Kowal's "awareness"-event.
Pluto here is more in conjunction with the ascending node in Libra at the third house cusp and very interesting to me:
A strong Saturn in Leo near the Leo-ascendant in the first house! That fits very well to the mythological Chiron as a renwoned teacher of the heros,
an authority and as a son of Chronos (roman Saturnus)!
So we see that the charts for the date and time of the first shot, the real discovery-shot, is very interesting and maybe more interesting than the
personal "awareness"-moment, which is to my opinion more related to the personal circumstances of the discoverer, than to the common meaning of the discovered object.
And now comes the best: Kowal said in an interview that he discovered Chiron only in using the old (but enhanced, optimized) blink comparator,
as Tombaugh did more than 50 years ago and which was rarely used by other astronomers! What a coincidence! (it really was?)
I think it is clear for everyone now, how closely related and interconnected Chiron and Pluto are, their discovery charts and circumstances
clearly tell us: there is a deep and strong connection between this two bodies, which relationship should be further analysed.
(The Leo-ascendant for example does arose in Chiron's discovery chart as in Pluto's.)
And maybe this tells us another important thing:
Pluto was discovered to prepare humanity for Chiron's theme, and viceversa!
The Centaurs alltogether are more or less bridges to the realm of Pluto (and Neptune of course),
but Chiron, as the Centaur's most renowned represant and as the only giant comet of all, is fitting a "hole" in Pluto's concept and viceversa.