For the first time close images of Pluto were made in July 2015 by New Horizons, the first spacecraft to fly by the planet. It is amazing to see this remote alien world. I was very pleased to see the images on Wikipedia. And now it is appropriate time to see them because today the Sun is in conjunction with Pluto.1)exact on January 5, 2015 But when I saw the last video released on December 5, 2015 I was astonished. I hardly believed my eyes. However, to explain my astonishment to the unburdened reader a short three-paragraph preview is needed.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in the observatory built by Percival Lowell for that purpose. Percival Lowell was obsessed with the canal-like features he observed on Mars and with discovering the next Planet X, which were the works of his life. He established the Lowell observatory in 1894 to observe the Martian canals and to chase the invisible planet. He wrote three books on canals of Mars. He believed that Mars sustained intelligent life and was the originator of this idea. He imagined that an advanced but desperate culture had built the canals to tap Mars’ polar ice. Scientist didn’t find reliable evidence proving the existence of the Martian canals, disliked his enthusiasms and ostracized him. Existence of canals on Mars was finally disproved in the 70’s. Now it appears that they never existed and were a product of imperfect optics and Lowell’s imagination.
Percival Lowell was an idealist and an agnostic. He held that human progress is a function of the qualities of individuality and imagination. He was described as the ‘the most influential populariser of planetary science in America before Carl Sagan’. Craters on the Moon and on Mars have been named after him and a planet wears his initials.
Percival Lowell died 1916 and didn’t live to see the discovery of the Planet X that took place in his observatory 14 years later. The planet was named Pluto after the the Roman God of the Underworld who was able to make himself invisible because of the planet’s invisibility and because the first two letter of his name are the initials of Percival Lowell. The astronomical symbol of Pluto became ♇, a monogram for Pluto constructed by the initials of Percival Lowell. Pluto’s astrological symbol is similar to that of Neptune but with a circle in place of the middle prong of the trident. It represents mind transcending matter and reaching the divine spirit. Noticeably, the meaning of the astrological glyph resembles Lowell’s understanding for the power of the imagination.
And now, let’s go back to the video and get astounded! The video shows a close view of a part of Pluto’s surface. At the 24th second of the film, I glimpsed what I was least prepared to see. Even the view of a flying saucer wouldn’t have surprised me more. A saw both Pluto’s symbols and the initials of Percival Lowell combined in a monogram.
The triple monogram is about six miles long. It appears to be made by ridges or canals. Its straight lines, right angles and well-shaped semicircle are remarkable. This is decisively the most regular geometrical figure that shows up on Pluto’s surface visible in that film. No other planet is known to wear its glyphs or whatever symbols on its surface, not to speak of its own ones.
The monogramatic combination of the two symbols of the planet and the initials of the man who organized its discovery bears a close resemblance to the figure on its surface. This similarity between the Pluto’s triple monogram and the outline observable on its surface is a staggering coincidence. Or is it?
Lowell was preoccupied with discovery of imaginary canals on Mars and planet Pluto. Decades after discovery of Pluto, It turned out that the two planets have similar astrological influence. And now, 85 years later Pluto’s surface displays a strange canal-like relief feature. Did he feel that there were canals on the invisible planet and ascribed them to the visible one? Or did he transcend physical reality? One way or another, his spiritual legacy has signed our collective mind.
January 5, 2016
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|1.||↥||exact on January 5, 2015|