September 14, 2006
A Planet is Named: Goddess of Discord

Eris, by Alexandra, Eris, by Susanna Coffey,

A Dwarf Planet Is Named: ERIS
New York Times: September 14, 2006
By Kenneth Chang

The dwarf planet formerly known as Xena received a new name today, while Pluto was given a number to reflect the loss of its status as a planet.

Dr. Michael E. Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology who discovered the distant ball of ice and rock that he nicknamed Xena, chose the name Eris, after the goddess of discord and strife in Greek mythology. The International Astronomical Union made the name official today.

"It is absolutely the perfect name," Dr. Brown said, given the continuing discord among astronomers and the public over whether Pluto should have retained its planetary status.

In mythology, Eris ignited discord that led to the Trojan War.

"She causes strife by causing arguments among men, by making them think their opinions are right and everyone else's is wrong," Dr. Brown said. "It really is just perfect."

Pluto, now that it is no longer a planet, has been assigned the number 134340 in the catalog of minor planets. In 1999, the astronomical union's Minor Planet Center had proposed assigning Pluto the number 10000 in the same catalog, to give it dual citizenship as both a planet and a member of the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy debris beyond Neptune. Brian Marsden, director of the center, said it was meant as special recognition for Pluto, but the idea was withdrawn after protests from people who saw it as a demotion.

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Vinessa • 02:48 PM •


It has been pointed out that the discovery of Xena precipitated the argument about what constitutes a planet, and that engendered Pluto's "demotion." So, renaming Xena Eris, the goddess whose job it is to create discord, is indeed apt. Concurrently, it appears that the Pope has made a speech that has been interpreted as hostile by Moslems, creating much discord. So far, Eris has convinced me that she's exactly who she purports to be.

comment by Diana Shaw at 11:53 AM on 09.15.06 [ link ]

The Divine Feminine and the return to our Great Mother and Primordial Grandmothers as Clan Leader of the new world is well on its way!

comment by Mary the Shamanka at 11:25 AM on 09.16.06 [ link ]
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