- Lilith (hypothetical moon)
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Lilith is a hypothetical natural satellite of
Earthwhose existence is not supported by any scientific evidence. In 1918 an astrologer Sepharialnamed the hypothetical moon Lilithand opined that it was dark enough to have escaped detection.Bakich, Michael E. "The Cambridge Planetary Handbook." Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 148, ISBN 0521632803 , [http://books.google.com/books?id=5vM8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA148&dq=Lilith+%22Dark+Moon%22&sig=ACfU3U0lbbI8o-P-HvAwakFq4KT9_X5PdQ#PPA148,M1 see] ] Schlyter, Paul. [http://www.neunplaneten.de/nineplanets/hypo.html Hypothetische Planeten] , 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-07.] The name Lilithis of near-eastern mythology, and (according to post-Biblical Jewish lore) was the first wife to Adam. [Graves, Robert and Patai, Raphael. "Hebrew Myths: The Book of Genesis." New York: Doubleday, 1964, pp. 65-69, ISBN-13: 978-1857546613 , ISBN-10: 185754661X , Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd. (October 1, 2004); note this publication refers to "Yalqut Reubeni ad. Gen. II. 21; IV. 8.", [http://www.gnosis.org/lilith.htm see] ] The moon Lilith is sometimes referred to as the "Dark Moon," "Black Moon," [Michelsen, Neil F. and Pottenger, Rique. "The Asteroid Ephemeris, 1900-2050: Including Chiron and the Black Moon Lilith". ACS Publications, 1999, ISBN 0935127666] or "Ghost Moon".Moore, Patrick. "The Wandering Astronomer". CRC Press, 1999b, ISBN 0750306939 , [http://books.google.com/books?id=MZwiX8WxkIwC&pg=PT139&dq=astronomer+Frederic+Petit+moon&sig=ACfU3U2hcAWp_Vma3koNsE-4DoxhyrNM6g see] ] Lilith was incorporated into horoscopes and some astrologers use it in their calculations to this day.
In 1846, French astronomer
Frédéric Petit, director of the observatory at Toulouse, announced that he had discovered a second moon in an elliptical orbitaround the Earth. This claim was, apart from three reported eyewitnesses, dismissed by his peers. However, writer Jules Vernelearned of it and became intrigued by the idea. In 1865, he made use of it in his novel, " From the Earth to the Moon".
The explosive popularity of the book triggered a push by amateur astronomers all over the world to confirm Petit's claimed discovery. In 1898, Hamburg scientist Dr.
Georg Waltemathannounced he had located a second moon [Observatoire de Lyon. "Bulletin de l'Observatoire de Lyon". Published in France, 1929, p. 55.] inside a whole system of tiny moons orbiting the Earth. [Bakich, Michael E. "The Cambridge Planetary Handbook". Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 146, ISBN 0521632803 , [http://books.google.com/books?id=5vM8AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA146&dq=%22Georg+Waltemath%22&sig=ACfU3U0qNv8XGRaEkJDgGVavpG75VswnOg see] ] However, after the failure of a corroborating observation of this invisible moon by the scientific community, the idea of a second moon was discredited.
astrologerWalter Gornold, also known as " Sepharial," claimed to have confirmed the existence of a second moon. He named it Lilith and believed it to be the same moon Waltemath claimed to have observed. Sepharial affirmed that Lilith was indeed invisible for most of the time but claimed to have viewed it as it crossed the sun.Sepharial, A. "The Science of Foreknowledge: Being a Compendium of Astrological Research, Philosophy, and Practice in the East and West."; Kessinger Publishing (reprint), 1997, pp. 39-50; ISBN 1564597172 , [http://books.google.com/books?id=hLZBnTAC9uwC&pg=PA50&dq=Lilith+astrology&lr=&sig=ACfU3U2QYJZO-0JQ3TcKOVvH23r00G0vZQ#PPA50,M1 see] ]
While it is possible for objects to orbit Earth — a
meteoroidcould become a satellite of the earth for short periods — no such claims have been proven.
Astronomically, Dark Moon Lilith is supposed to have a geocentric period of 119 days and to orbit at three times the distance of the Moon. Its diameter is said to be about one quarter that of the Moon. Despite many criticisms as
bad science, proponents of the idea maintain it follows an orbit stationary to the opposing side of the Moon, rendering it invisible except when crossing the sun. This conception of one orbiting object being hidden by its position behind another is often likened to the Counter-Earthof , which would be at the (unstable) Lagrange Point, L3.Fact|date=July 2008
Some early secondary moon theories explained its hidden nature simply through the dark coloring of its surface.
The majority of scientists object to all of these theories, pointing to the fact that any second moon of the Earth would have been seen by now. [ [http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~cheung/lilith.html "The Earth's Second Moon, 1846-present"] , Samson H. Cheung's page, UC Davis: "The original idea was that the gravitational field of the second moon should account for the then inexplicable minor deviations of the motion of our big Moon. That meant an object at least several miles large -- but if such a large second moon really existed, it would have been seen by the Babylonians."] Due to the many readily apparent holes in Lilith's supportive argument (not least of which is her general defiance of the laws of gravity) the actual physical existence of this
astronomical objectis believed only by fringe groups comparable to the Flat Earth Society.
1181 Lilith, discovered in 1927 by astronomer Benjamin Jekhowsky, is not the same body, but is only similar in name.
Earth's "dark moon" in literature
Jules Verne's novel, " From the Earth to the Moon" helped to popularize Frederic Petit's original theory of a secondary moon.
Samuel R. Delany's 1975 novel " Dhalgren" features an Earth which mysteriously acquires a second moon.
Eleanor Cameron's "Mushroom Planet" novels for children (the first being " The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet") are set on a tiny, habitable second moon in an invisible orbit 50,000 miles from Earth, known to the natives as "Basidium." This "Mushroom Planet" is covered in various types of mushrooms and is populated by little green people. In a later volume (" Mr. Bass's Planetoid"), an even smaller third moon is visited. This object is implied to be the one Verne's was based on.
Hypothetical planetary object (non-scientific)
* Goldstein-Jacobson, Ivy M. "The Dark Moon Lilith in Astrology". ISBN 1-4254-8278-3
* [http://www.nineplanets.org/hypo.html#moon2 The Earth's Second Moon, 1846-present]
* [http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1359692 A detailed explanation of secondary moon theories]
* [http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_lilith_e.htm Article on the significance of Lilith in astrology]
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