Sunday, 14 November 2021

inner oort cloud

Co-discovered on this day in 2003 by astronomical teams in Caltech, Yale and the Gemini Observatory, the planetoid, trans-Neptunian object (previously) provisionally nicknamed the Flying Dutchman because of its slow (eleven-thousand plus years) and solitary journey around the Sun that made researchers almost miss it for a fixed star, it was welcomely given the official designation 90377 Sedna in honour of the Inuit sea goddess who dwells at the bottom of the frigid Arctic Ocean, and establishing that future objects found in the same orbital region should be named after polar mythologies.
The astronomical monogram, which matches the ones of ancient astrology quite well, is a combination of the Eastern Canadian Inuktitut characters ᓴᓐᓇ, Sanna—the modern version of the name and suggests a leaping seal. Because of the extreme eccentricity of its perihelion—too great to have been caused by the gravitational influence of the known worlds, Sedna’s existence lends credence to either interstellar interlopers or a so called Planet Nine, ten-times the size of Earth but hidden as a cosmic counter-balance.