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Allo, allo? What’s this? MORE NEW PLANETS? MORE NEW SOLAR SYSTEMS OUT THERE? And now comes a PHOTOGRAPH of one, too?

That new planet, "almost next door" (says the New York Times, Page One) is only 15 light years away from us. It orbits a star called GLEISE 876 M 4 V and it has two or three planet companions, probably also cold and gaseous.We'll have more on this extremely interesting neighbour shortly, but we knew you would want to know that its Zodiacal equivalent position is
9 degrees 7 minutes 57 seconds in celestial longitude, with latitude of 6 degrees and 37 minutes of arc North.   (Its Right Ascension is 22 degrees 53 minutes 16.2 seconds, with Declination 14 degrees 15 minutes 43.4 seconds North.) Thank you, Zane the brain  and thanks much to your generous colleague, Diana K. Rosenberg (link below). My RA conversion programme appears to  be on the fritz. Apologies to those who saw the first posting, in Aquarius. We will get to the bottom of this shortly. Watch this space!

Here’s a hotlist of some of those amazing, mysterious EXOPLANETS to date.(We hired Astro Communications Services in San Diego to crunch the RA coordinates and to convert them to their spots along the Zodiac, so you can stick them right into charts and see what you think of them.)

To Dr. Alexander Wolszezan, the radio astronomer at Pennsylvania State University who first discovered planets orbiting a pulsar; and Dr. Michael Mayor and Dr. Didier Queloz of the Geneva Observatory, who on 6 October 1995 "scooped the stars" and discovered a planet orbiting a star like our Sun, and Dr. Geoffrey W. Marcy and Dr. R. Paul Butler of San Francisco State University, who continue to discover so many of these new planets and all the other discoverers and discovery teams, for your discoveries: We give you our hearty congratulations, thanks and unending gratitude for your explorations .Thank you for all that you have done and do.

Astronomers are on a roll, lassoing these disturbing, unearthly , groundbreaking EXOPLANETS regularly. We’ll try to get them up here as soon as they scream in. If you want to get involved with this project, zap us an email, fax or phone call. These orbiting wierdos need all the help they can get! I would GREATLY APPRECIATE any bug reports and/or updates to this data. Any errors are mine.

Only two exoplanets, so far, have nicknames:

Epicurus orbiting 51 Pegasus and Goldilocks orbiting 70 Virginis

These are not official names. Too soon for that. But discoverers permit themselves some playful privileges.

It was formerly known as Bellerophon who,  in the myth, was a noble warrior who rode Pegasus, the winged horse. Have you ever heard of a "Bellerophonic letter" ? You can have lots of fun looking it up in Bullfinch’s Mythology. Have you ever received such a letter? Astrologers get them all the time! 

But the discoverers eventually broke ground with the tired old myth garbanzo and decided to name the spectacular sphere Epicurus, ushering a new age and new nomenclature.

In, "The Neptune File" by Tom Standage: (publisher: Walker & Company, New York, 2000) the author writes:
 " For their part  Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz (the discoverers of 51 Pegasi) have suggested the name Epicurus for 51 Pegasi's planet, in honour of the philosopher who first suggested the possibility of the existence of other solar systems. They argue, only half seriously, that a new kind of naming convention will be necessary to keep up with the flood of discoveries, otherwise the stock of mythological names will soon run out; so they propose naming extrasolar planets after real historical figures, rather than fictional characters.
    'So far, however, the International Astronomical Union, which has the authority to name astronomical objects, has not adopted a naming scheme for extrasolar planets. But given the rate at which such planets are now being discovered, it will soon be time to draw one up. At that point, perhaps the mythological tradition will finally be discarded."'

'Goldilocks’ refers to possibly ideal astronomical conditions, a planet that is "not too cold, and not too hot, and not too near (its star) and not too far, but just right". This exoplanet may have conditions to support water, and possibly, life. Watch this space!

copyright 1997 Debbi Kempton-Smith

26 April 1997 New York

A short list, so far, is here below. For more information on each, click on the planets you fancy. Or download and print out a hard copy of the list and throw it into your ephemeris: it’ll be easy to see where these exoplanets fall in every horoscope you’re working on. Let’s hear your results from checking these planets out!

X - O the exoplanets

All positions are for Epoch 2000 (1 January 2000 GMT).

UPSILON ANDROMEDAE b 8 Taurus 33' 15" With a Latitude of 28 N 59' 07"

(RA 01 36 48.527 Dec +41 24 38.71)

55 CANCRI 7 Leo 44’ 17" With a Latitude of 10 N 22’ 24"

(RA 8 52 37.60 Declination +28 20 02.6)

47 URSA MAJORIS 29 Leo 04’ 32" With a Latitude of 31 N 03’ 49"

(RA 10 59 29.296 Dec +40 25 46.09)

LALANDE 2 Virgo 05' 00" With a Latitude of 27 N 27' 28"

(RA 11 03 22.52 Dec +36 02 10.2)

HD 11 4762 9 Libra 31’ 02" With a Latitude of 23 N 11’ 58"

(RA 13 12 2173 Dec +17 31 00)

70 VIRGINIS 14 Libra 58" 15" With a Latitude of 21 N 20’ 56"

(RA 13 28 26.541 Dec +13 47 12.43)

TAU BOOTIS 17 Libra 56’ 22" With a Latitude of 26 N 30’ 55"

(RA 13 47 17.345  Dec +17 27 22.31)

RHO COR BOR 17 Scorpio 10' 49" With a Latitude of 52 N 25 22

(RA 16 01 03.39 Dec +33 18 51.5

16 CYGNUS B 21 Aquarius 12’ 49" With a Latitude of 69 N 28’ 03"

(RA 19 41 51.8 Dec +50 31 03)

51 PEGASI 24 Pisces 16’ 47" With a Latitude of 25 N 11’ 13"

(RA 22 57 27.14 Dec +20 46 04.5)

GLIESE 229 3 Cancer 29' 24" With a Latitude of 45 S 15' 38"

(RA 06 10 35.07  Dec -21 51 17.6)


We’ve got a stack ‘o other exoplanets, some sorta shaky, unconfirmed ones, like LaLande, some "candidates" and some confirmed, wacky ones which orbit PULSARS coming right up for you. Watch this space.

Dr. Geoffrey Marcy and Dr. Paul Butler, the two leading exoplanet expert astronomers, have a "short list" of 120 MORE exoplanets they are currently monitoring. And that’s just the hors d’oeuvres...As the Hubble telescope’s superior eyeball continues to swing round in space, far from the atmospheric pollution of Earth, and new computer viewing techniques improve and now can "clean up" the views of earth-based telescopes (the big monster Keck ‘scope in Hawaii is one: there are many others), loads of new exoplanets are about to be discovered. This raises many new, inconvenient questions for astrologers. We are facing a coming cornucopia of new facts and data, an avalanche of new information unprecedented in the history of our 5000 year old art.


"It is the mark of an educated mind to able to entertain a thought without accepting it."




Exoplanets and other solar systems besides ours, an ‘embarrassment of recently discovered riches’, has severe and unignorable implications for astrologers and for the field of astrology and cosmobiology itself. Where are we going to fit all these planets into charts, along with the asteroids, comets, midpoints, nodes and various other bodies that we fool with already? And isn’t it beginning to matter that SO MANY of these new planets lie far, far off the plane of the ecliptic, in other words, way away from the zodiac line that cuts through our twelve familiar constellations?


Don’t get me wrong. Everybody loves pancakes. We stargazers pay the rent from looking at pizzas.We call them horoscopes. Runs good. The interpretation of a horoscope is a terrifyingly accurate profiling tool. The timing tricks, used right, are sharp predictors. Add comet Chiron and you’ve got even more tools. Sprinkle on some asteroids, they go. Astrologers will be working with tradtional horoscopes and the twelve signs of the Zodiac in the future for the best reason there is: we have thousands of years’ worth of useful recorded observations. We will not throw out the useful data base we have, what we know, and what works.

Yet, here it is only Spring of 1997 and I am increasingly frustrated at being forced to look at a flat horoscope printed on a flat piece of paper like a pancake. Space---and real life--- is 3-D. The stars, the new exoplanets, the comets...most of these have their lives nowhere near the twelve basic signs of the traditional Zodiac. Out in space, you can turn objects around and upside down, look at things from a variety of viewpoints.

Suddenly we have computer graphics that can do the same: make a 3-D spherical chart, rotate it, tilt it, pop on ALL the planets, traditional and new, and PUT THEM IN THEIR REAL PLACES. I’m not saying we throw anything away...we’ll be working with the tradtional flat horoscopes for years to come.

But it’s inevitable...uncomfortable...inexorable: we’ll be going spherical in order to plug in all this new information. We can’t keep dragging new planets down to the old ecliptic. That would be like tying a fleet of fine Arabian racing stallions to the picket fence and expecting them to stay there. But that leads us to even MORE questions: Who is going to do this?


Anybody want to fool around on the computer and build some simple "beachballs" with grids on them? Let us hear from you! If you’ve got something already, we’ll let people know about YOUR work.

Possible models for making 3-D, spherical horoscopes to experiment with? Example: build a 3-D horoscope grid on a ball (Earth) and use the plane of the Milky Way galaxy instead of the ecliptic, or or use the ecliptic plane AND the Milky Way plane, etc.(In light of recent findings, there may be an up and a down to the Universe. Maybe we’ll use that, the Universal Vector plane later on.) We could toy with a model sphere in Right Ascension, the astronomer’s locator system. Perhaps best first to make "beachballs" converted to good old familiar Zodiacal (ecliptic) longitude, and see what we think, and more importantly, what we get.

As we progress, it may turn out to be easier and more accurate to consider using elements of Sidereal Astrology, Right Ascension, or other measurement systems in future work. Consider: we spend a lot of time shifting astronomical data, forcing it into an ecliptic, old Zodiac, Sun’s highway based view of the heavens, while new and important work Out There, though measured from an earth based point of view (Right Ascension), is unshackled to dragging every new exoplanet’s position over to the old Zodiac. Right Ascension, the international astronomical standard of measuring space, IS linked to the old Zodiac where the Sun’s path crosses the Equator at the Spring Equinox (still called ‘zero Aries’). But it is freer and more accurate nomenclature. Using RA without the zodiac correction might be interesting to try for awhile, too. Our own Jim Lewis preferred it for much of his work, and if you have an Astro* Carto*Graphy map well, that’s RA based, and you know the results are excellent.

Of course we can easily go on converting all the near stars and planets to the Zodiac equivalencies. One day, the folks living and working and being born on Mars in the next 150 years will have to crunch the data for the Areocentric, or Mars-centred view. Astrologers would be using two different sets of formulae to calculate the charts. This outlook doesn’t originate with me: Robert Heinlein’s book, "Stranger in a Strange Land" got many of us thinking about Mars or Moon based baby horoscopes back in the Sixties. But for space travel, finding new stars and planets fast, and not constantly, neurotically converting everything we get from our sources into our small ghetto of "zodiac speak" (’what sign is that new star in? It’s at the Pole and isn’t "in" any sign? I don’t want to know about it then!’) it may at least be necessary to learn to also speak the language of the rest of the world, (and worlds): astronomical measurements= Right Ascension. What do YOU think? Let us hear from you!

As a group, most twentieth century astrologers today are famously untrained in research techniques, let alone astrophysics: we are going to have to get good at it, and fast. Yet astrologers, from before the time of Ptolemy and Firnus Maternicus, through Galileo, Kepler, and Tycho Brahe---astrologers all---do have a long and astonishing, painstaking tradition of recording, collecting and passing on careful observations over centuries.

Yes, we’re going to have to learn astronomy again. Well, it’s not hard. It makes you scream but it’s awfully pretty. And hey---it’s a lot of fun out there in the dark. And the views are fantastic.


These exoplanets don’t transit. They orbit stars, light years away. So they ain’t gonna move much in your horoscope during one lifespan. Pop them right into your chart. Stick them round the outside of the wheel if you hate to mess up the chart---it doesn’t matter. In a few years we will probably be working with spherical charts, anyway, and we’ll have an up and a down place to stick the planets which orbit stars which fall way off the zodiac trail.

So we need to research what they might mean, in various ways. Some types of questions to ask as you look at these exo-guys in chart work, so...


Do you know somebody who has a NATAL PLANET (within a one degree orb only, please) conjunct one of these exoplanets? Conjunct is possibly the "purest" way of studying the quality of a new body. What does it "feel" like if your Venus is mishmashed in a conjunction with 51 Peg? Click on 51 Peg . Don’t form any conclusions right away. just put it in your brainbox and let it stew awhile. If you have a tight opposition or square to an exoplanet, within a one degree orb only, try it out. But just use 0 degrees, 90 degrees and 180 degrees in your research, the "hard" angles. We are searching for extreme flavourings here, not "iffy" colourings like trines, sextiles, etc. Example: Does your daughter have the Midheaven conjunct 47 Ursa Majoris? What does she do for a living? What is she good at?

Next, if you have a chart with a PRECISE, ACCURATE, BIRTH TIME: In a chart run with KOCH house cusps, is there an exoplanet on the 2/8 KOCH cusps? Does this indicate any inherent outstanding quality in the native relating to money, income, earning skills, survival qualities, value systems? Check the 3/9 KOCH house cusps, etc. Any exoplanets on the natal Ascendant or Midheaven? Any unusual features about the native’s attitudes, appearance, fate, outstanding events that shaped the life?

Check for the BOI-I-I-NNNNGGGG Effect: What happened in the subject’s life in the year before and after confirmation of the exoplanet, mostly, that is, in 1995 and 1996? (There will be hundreds soon, thanks to the Hubble telescope now out in space.)Was it an external event (change in life circumstances) or an internal (mental, emotional, consciousness) event?


Progressions and solar arc directions may give us clues as to the nature of the qualities of the exoplanets. You may take a clean-ish sample by observing and recording what occured in the year when the Progressed Sun made a conjunction to an exoplanet. Other transits and progressions and solar arc directions will of course be in effect any time you take a sample, but as we collect a large basket of data, common elements may emerge.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. As models evolve for the significance of each exoplanet, it may be easier to just watch for years in which the progressed Sun in client charts contacted one of these fixed exoplanet positions, much in the same way that astrologers in olden days noted the positions of the "Fixed Stars".

FIXED STAR, SABIAN SYMBOLS and other enthusiasts, let us hear from you! Much as one winces at the introduction of "psychic" and so-called "mediumistic" interpretations of certain zodiacal degrees, some of the Arabic "fixed star" lore seems to have resonance in personal charts, and at this starting point in studying the exos, all input can be a welcome springboard for new thinking about the exoplanets. We throw out nothing! Let us hear your favourite degree stories, we’ll collect and report your observations here. (The fixed star positions listed in this report are for London GMT midnight year 2000.


If your birthday is 28 April, give or take a day, this exoplanet may be significant for you.


55 RHOL CANCRI c 7 degrees LEO 43’ 58" Announced 12 April 1996.

(also known as designation HR 3522, G8V)

If your birthday is 31 JULY, give or take a day, this exoplanet may be significant for you.

Discovered by Dr. Paul Butler and Dr. Geoffrey Marcy.

An epistellar Jovian type planet which orbits the star about every two weeks in a circular orbit. Find it in the sky at about 15 degrees to the upper left of the star Pollux in the constellation Gemini. About 45 light years away from us, it has about 80% of Jupiter’s mass.

and its buddy:


A classical Jovian type, this baby was the second discovery here, announced 16- 18 June, 1996.




47 URSA MAJORIS UMa b 27 LEO 58’ 55" Announced 17 January 1996.

If your birthday is 20 AUGUST, give or take a day, this one may be significant for you!

Discovered by Butler and Marcy, after analysing eight years’s worth of observations at Lick Observatory, San Jose, California, using Doppler shift spectroscopy techniques (that’s redshift and blueshift to you, Jack!).

A classical Jovian type, 47 Ursa Majoris b is 44 light years away from us, and takes about 1100 days (over three of our years) to orbit its star (sun). Its temperature may allow the presence of liquid water. Its mass is about triple the size of Jupiter.





If your birthday is 25 August, give or take a day, this exoplanet may be significant for you.


Lalande's a bit dodgy, we're not sure it belongs here yet or not, but this is hardly a time to be snobby towards new blobs in space. Call it an exoplanet candidate, then...


HD 114762 b 9 LIBRA 30’ 34" Announced in 1989.

If your birthday is 2 OCTOBER, give or take a day, check this one out!

Discovered by Dave Latham in 1989, confirmed in 1991 and 1996.

An eccentric Jovian type, probably a low mass M brown dwarf or "eccentric planet".



70 VIRGINIS b 70 Vir b 13 LIBRA 37 O5 Announced 22 January 1996.

If your birthday is 6 OCTOBER, give or take a day, this exoplanet may interest you!

Discovered by Butler and Marcy using way cool Doppler shift techniques.

An Eccentric Jovian type, nicknamed "Goldilocks", the planet orbiting 70 Virginis every 116.6 days is, according to astronomers, "a behemoth of a world", with a mass about nine times the size of Jupiter. It is about 78 light years away from us. The exoplanetary experts, Butler and Marcy, say: "the formation of such giant planets in eccentric orbits is not explained by current theory"! Some astronomers feel that these eccentric orbits deviate so much from past theories that this big baby might be dismissed as a "brown dwarf", or new theories may have to be developed to explain 70 Virginis and good old HD114762, to which it is similar.Sweet "Goldilocks" is cooler than our sun by several hundred degrees---at this time of writing it is believed that water (and hence life) could exist there.


By the way, this is the position of one of President Bill Clinton’s planets. His V.P. is named Al Gore. Spooky, no?


TAU BOOTIS c 17 LIBRA 55 58 Announced in 1991.

If your birthday is 10 OCTOBER, give or take,this exoplanet may be one to watch!

Discovered by Duquennoy and Mayor in 1991. More info to come!



If your birthday is 9 NOVEMBER, give or take a day, this exoplanet may be significant for you.



16 CYGNUS b or, HR 7504 21 AQUARIUS 12 43 Announced 24 October 1996

If your birthday is 9 FEBRUARY, watch this planet!

Discovered by Butler and Marcy, using radial velocity techniques, 16 Cyg dwells in

the Northern Cross constellation. An Eccentric Jovian quite similar to our sun but with a crazy roller-coaster type orbit, Cyggie 16 "breaks all the rules about how and where planets form". But it’s only 70 light years away from us, so look out!



51 PEGASI 51 Peg b 22 degrees PISCES 50’ 55" Announced 6 October 1995

If your birthday is 13 MARCH, this exoplanet may speak to you!

Discovered by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, Swiss astronomers, using Doppler shift techniques. An Epistellar Jovian type. More soon!


BURSTANI.GIF (9370 bytes)


Map of exoplanets, They Are Everywhere: Psst! Wanna see something really scary?

Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia: Go straight to the source

Other Solar Systems?

San Fransisco State U: Home of some leading exoplanet discoverers

Zane Stein’s Brilliant, Pioneering Astrology Website

Jacob Schwartz’ Wonderful Asteroid Website

Astro Communications Services : hot-shot calculation service

Astro*Carto*Graphy : your personal travel maps

Galactic Astrology: We’re not alone out here on the edge!

The "Fixed Stars": Diana K. Rosenberg's fascinating website

The Whole Mars Catalogue: Extraordinary shopping experience

Skeptical Inquirer: Cynic Central---Is this the five-minute argument?

MENSA: International eggheads--- Join us, you are welcome!

Astrology and Travel + Mercury Retrograde Tables

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