Prometheus Passage -1-

The Comet Prometheus
In 1933 a re-examination of photographic plates taken at the Lowell Observatory in the 20s and early 30s revealed the existence of a large, fast-moving object in the outer Solar System. Moving too fast and in the wrong part of the sky to be a planet, it was considered a comet.

After calculating its sun-grazing orbit, a scientific committee suggested the name Prometheus which is the name that stuck in the public mind when the object began to make the news.

It's still called Comet Prometheus today when its nature is better understood though much disputed. And CP is the symbol used for Prometheus in astronomical references.


Planet Prometheus

After calculations based on it's mass became available, some scientists wished to consider it a planet but its orbit is hardly planetary being extremely elliptical and inclined to the plane of the other planets by almost 17 degrees. But Prometheus is more massive than Mars or Mercury. It is therefore considered a planetoid or planet-like object, similar to the new designation of Pluto.

Comet Nemesis

Because of its inclination and ellipticity, Prometheus crosses the plane of the ecliptic in two places, both within a few million miles of the Earth's orbit. After its first passage, its orbit changed. Instead of returning to the inner solar system every 963 years, it settled into a new orbit, bringing it back to circle the sun once every 8 years 4 months and 29 days. Due to its "earth-grazing" orbit, suggestions have been made to change the name of the body to Nemesis.

Dark Star

Once Prometheus had entered the inner solar system, more accurate assessments of its size and mass could be made. Surprising discoveries were made, Nemesis is smaller than the moon but masses almost half as much as Earth. No known form of matter could explain such a high density but because of it, some scientists have suggested that Prometheus is the remnant of an exploded star and may have a core of degenerate matter. Further revelations have confused things even more.

Prometheus does glow with its own energy in some bands of the spectrum, notably from long-wave radio up to infra-red and in the soft x-ray band and again in the very hard gamma-ray band. Jupiter behaves similarly though the bands do not match up and Jupiter supplies no hard gammas. Prometheus actually gives off more hard gamma than does the Sun in the bands where both emit radiation. Saturn glows in the shortwave up to near-infra-red band as does Uranus and to a lesser extent, Neptune. Earth itself gives off both long-wave and short-wave radiation in widely separated bands and Venus's atmosphere glows in the infra-red.

Anomalous Orbit

Fine calculations repeatedly failed to account for Prometheus's orbit in all particulars, until someone suggested that in some manner, the mass of the planetoid varied. The idea of a varying mass is so upsetting to most astrophysicists that forty years after the suggestion, no one has come up with any reasonable equation to describe such variation. Other suggestions are that some repulsive force between Prometheus, the Sun and the other planets is in operation and does not follow the same laws of distance and intensity that gravity follows.

Prometheus also has an orbital lock with Jupiter, its aphelion is at the same approximate distance as Jupiter and this aphelion travels behind Jupiter at an angle of 30 degrees from the Sun but above the ecliptic. This doesn't mean Prometheus gets close to Jupiter at all, indeed, it's never closer to Jupiter than half of Jupiter's distance to the Sun but it's obvious that Jupiter's mass has some involvement in the precessing of Prometheus's orbit.

Because of the strange precessing of its orbit, Prometheus comes near the Earth (within ten million miles) three times in every 16 to 17 years which makes up two of Prometheus's orbits. In one orbit, CP will pass near the Earth both coming and going around the Sun and in the next orbit will pass near the Earth only going in or coming out. It also gets "near" (astronomically speaking) Mercury or Venus in each close approach to the Sun and Mars in one orbit in four, so far.

Black Hole

One suggestion has been that Prometheus is actually a shell around a black hole orbiting somehow inside it. One wild hypothesis has been put forth that both a white hole and a black hole orbit inside Prometheus, each sustaining the other from vanishing due to quantum effects.

Metahuman Activity and Prometheus

There have been numerous suppositions about the increase in metahuman activity on Earth since the arrival of Prometheus. It is undeniable that each time Prometheus has passed near the Earth twice in one orbit, there has been a major change in metahuman activity on Earth and more minor but significant changes during the off-cycles with only one near-passage.



Very Good Start On A New Series

I can see where a Meta human might be "born" during such an event and possibly enhancing a few.
May Your Light Forever Shine


Two astronauts were falling into a black hole. One of them turned to the other and asked:
"Why the long face?"

By St. Stalislaw of Krakow, THIS is the sort of stuff I come here to Fictioneer for! Stuff that surprises me. The dry emotionless reportage of developing facts and hypothesese is as compelling as it is
stylistically daring. What double-edged gifts will this Prometheus bring us?
I have fallen happily into this strange tale's gravity well!
~~~hugs, spacepuppy

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