Archive for September, 2019

Autumnal Equinox – Sept. 23, 2019, 07:50 UT

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

The Sun has entered Libra today. This is the autumnal equinox, which marks the beginning of autumn. The Sun crossed the celestial equator on its apparent annual path along the ecliptic. On the days of the equinoxes, two times a year, the length of night and day is equal everywhere on Earth. From now on the days will become shorter in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Sun in the first degree of Libra was in conjunction with 469219 Kamoʻoalewa, the small companion of Earth. Kamoʻoalewa is a quasi-satellite of Earth. It is moving as an interior planet at the moment, which means that it is closer to the Sun than Earth. It is now retrograding in late Virgo. When the Sun, Kamoʻoalewa and Earth line up in this order, the situation is comparable to the New Moon.

Kamoʻoalewa is actually a small Apollo asteroid, orbiting around the Sun, and at the same time also looping around Earth. The diameter is only about 40 – 100 m. It is too far away to be considered a true satellite of Earth. In its yearly travel around the Sun, Kamoʻoalewa spends about half of the time inside the Earth’s orbit and about half of the time outside Earth’s orbit.

The orbits of quasi-satellites are unstable. Over time they tend to evolve to other types of resonant motion and no longer remain in the vicinity of the planet. Later they can move back to a quasi-satellite orbit again. Kamoʻoalewa is not the only known quasi-satellite of Earth, but it is currently the closest and most stable, predicted to stay in this orbital state for several hundred years. China is planning a robotic mission that would collect and return samples from Kamoʻoalewa. The launch is planned around 2024.

Astrologically the orbit of Kamoʻoalewa is really weird. Sometimes it rushes through several astrological signs in a month. Then there are periods of time when it moves back and forth only two or three signs for decades. We are now in a phase where Kamoʻoalewa seems to be covering only degrees in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.

The name Kamoʻoalewa is referring to a celestial object that is oscillating, like Kamoʻoalewa in the sky as viewed from Earth. It is a name found in the Hawaiian chant Kumulipo. Kumulipo is an 18th-century chant in the Hawaiian language telling a creation story and including a genealogy of the members of Hawaiian royalty.

It takes time to study the intriguing orbit of Kamoʻoalewa, which is so different from anything else we have seen, let alone the astrological meaning of it.