by Kirsti Melto
Lately we have learned about rare visitors, interstellar objects passing through our solar system. First there was ‘Oumuamua, the “first distant messenger,” which was already heading away from the Sun when it was discovered in October 1917. Then in August 2019 came Comet Borisov. Surprisingly there is one that has been with us all along and aims to stay, namely asteroid 514107 Ka’epaoka’awela.
The Full Moon in Gemini happens on Dec. 12, 2019. Opposite the Moon in Sagittarius is the unusual asteroid Ka’epaoka’awela in conjunction with the Sun. Ka’epaoka’awela is outstanding in many ways.
Ka’epaoka’awela’s orbit is retrograde. In other words, it moves in the opposite direction to most other bodies in the solar system. It is in a resonant, co-orbital motion with Jupiter. It is the first known asteroid in a 1:1 resonance with any of the planets. Its orbital period around the Sun is close to that of Jupiter.
How come Ka’epaoka’awela avoids crashing into the gas giant Jupiter? It passes either inside or outside Jupiter’s orbit, and each time it passes near Jupiter, its orbital elements are slightly altered. Scientists have concluded that Ka’epaoka’awela is originally an interstellar body and it has been in its retrograde resonance with Jupiter since the origin of the solar system. How it got captured into its orbit is still a mystery.
Ka’epaoka’awela was discovered in November 2014 by astronomers of the Pan-STARRS survey at Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii. It was first known by its provisional name 2015 BZ509 and nicknamed Bee-Zed. The official name was given in April 2019. According to the official naming citation, the name Ka’epaoka’awela means “the mischievous opposite moving companion of Jupiter, evoking the image of a retrograde object of unknown origin.” The name was created by a Hawaiian-language program dedicated to naming objects discovered with Pan-STARRS. This program consists of Hawaiian language experts and astronomers at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii.
Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dec. 22, 1887 – April 26, 1920) was an extraordinary Indian mathematician, who had almost no formal training in pure mathematics. He developed his own mathematical research in isolation. His original and highly unconventional results have opened entire new areas of work and inspired a vast amount of further research. He has the Sun conjunct Ka’epaoka’awela in Capricorn.
Edwin Hubble (Nov. 20, 1889 – Sept. 28, 1953) is regarded as one of the most important astronomers of all time. The Hubble Space Telescope was named in his honor. His Sun in the last degree of Scorpio is in conjunction with Ka’epaoka’awela in the first degree of Sagittarius.
Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American journalist, novelist, and short-story writer. Many of his works are considered classics of American literature. His Capricorn Moon is conjunct the retrograding Ka’epaoka’awela.
Judge Bone, aka Tuomari Nurmio (born Nov. 21, 1950) is a Finnish rock singer and songwriter. He is constantly renovating himself and is regarded one of the most original Finnish singer-songwriters. His Sun- Ka’epaoka’awela conjunction in Scorpio is square to Jupiter in Aquarius.
Bob Lazar (born Jan. 26, 1959) is primarily known for his claims of having been hired in the late 1980s to reverse-engineer purported extraterrestrial technology at a secret site called “S-4”. He has the Sun- Ka’epaoka’awela conjunction in Aquarius.
Brian Molko (born Dec. 10, 1972) is the lead vocalist and guitarist of the British band Placebo. He has been quoted as calling the band “music for outsiders, by outsiders”. His Sun-Ka’epaoka’awela conjunction is in Sagittarius.
Amy Winehouse (Sept. 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011) was a British singer and songwriter. Bob Dylan has called her “the last real individualist around.” Amy’s Moon is conjunct the retrograding Ka’epaoka’awela in Capricorn.