Pluto is the largest and second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System, and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris. Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock and is relatively small—about one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume. It has a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit during which it ranges from 30 to 49 astronomical units or AU (4.4–7.4 billion km) from the Sun. Light from the Sun takes about 5.5 hours to reach Pluto at its average distance (39.5 AU). Pluto has five known moons: Charon (the largest, with a diameter just over half that of Pluto), Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. Pluto and Charon are sometimes considered a binary system because the barycenter of their orbits does not lie within either body.
On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft became the first spacecraft to fly by Pluto. During its brief flyby, New Horizons made detailed measurements and observations of Pluto and its moons. In September 2016, astronomers announced that the reddish-brown cap of the north pole of Charon is composed of tholins, organic macromolecules that may be ingredients for the emergence of life, and produced from methane, nitrogen and other gases released from the atmosphere of Pluto and transferred about 19,000 km (12,000 mi) to the orbiting moon.
The cosmic voice of Pluto
In the 1840s, Urbain Le Verrier used Newtonian mechanics to predict the position of the then-undiscovered planet Neptune after analyzing perturbations in the orbit of Uranus. Subsequent observations of Neptune in the late 19th century led astronomers to speculate that Uranus’s orbit was being disturbed by another planet besides Neptune. In 1906, Percival Lowell—a wealthy Bostonian who had founded Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1894—started an extensive project in search of a possible ninth planet, which he termed “Planet X“. By 1909, Lowell and William H. Pickering had suggested several possible celestial coordinates for such a planet. Lowell and his observatory conducted his search until his death in 1916, but to no avail. Unknown to Lowell, his surveys had captured two faint images of Pluto on March 19 and April 7, 1915, but they were not recognized for what they were. There are fourteen other known precovery observations, with the oldest made by the Yerkes Observatory on August 20, 1909.
The name Pluto, after the god of the underworld, was proposed by Venetia Burney (1918–2009), an eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, who was interested in classical mythology. She suggested it in a conversation with her grandfather Falconer Madan, a former librarian at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, who passed the name to astronomy professor Herbert Hall Turner, who cabled it to colleagues in the United States. The final choice of name was helped in part by the fact that the first two letters of Pluto are the initials of Percival Lowell. Pluto’s astronomical symbol was then created as a monogram constructed from the letters “PL“. Pluto’s astrological symbol resembles that of Neptune, but has a circle in place of the middle prong of the trident.
Pluto’s origin and identity had long puzzled astronomers. One early hypothesis was that Pluto was an escaped moon of Neptune, knocked out of orbit by its largest current moon, Triton. This idea was eventually rejected after dynamical studies showed it to be impossible because Pluto never approaches Neptune in its orbit.
Orpheus before Pluto and Proserpina (1605), by Jan Brueghel the Elder
Plouton was one of several euphemistic names for Hades, described in the Iliad as the god most hateful to mortals. Plato says that people prefer the name Plouton, “giver of wealth,” because the name of Hades is fear-provoking. The name was understood as referring to “the boundless riches of the earth, both the crops on its surface—he was originally a god of the land—and the mines hidden within it.” What is sometimes taken as “confusion” of the two gods Plouton and Ploutos (“Wealth”) held or acquired a theological significance in antiquity. As a lord of abundance or riches, Pluto expresses the aspect of the underworld god that was positive, symbolized in art by the “horn of plenty” (cornucopia), by means of which Plouton is distinguished from the gloomier Hades.
The names of both Hades and Pluto appear also in the Greek Magical Papyri and curse tablets, with Hades typically referring to the underworld as a place, and Pluto regularly invoked as the partner of Persephone. Five Latin curse tablets from Rome, dating to the mid-1st century BC, promise Persephone and Pluto an offering of “dates, figs, and a black pig” if the curse is fulfilled by the desired deadline. The pig was a characteristic animal sacrifice to chthonic deities, whose victims were almost always black or dark in color. A set of curse tablets written in Doric Greek and found in a tomb addresses a Pasianax, “Lord to All,” sometimes taken as a title of Pluto, but more recently thought to be a magical name for the corpse.
Pasianax is found elsewhere as an epithet of Zeus, or in the tablets may invoke a daimon like Abrasax.
I know that even below the earth, if there is indeed a reward for the worthy ones, the first and foremost honors, nurse, shall be yours, next to Persephone and Pluto.
Lux Aurumque (“Light and Gold”, or “Light of Gold”) is a composition in one movement by Eric Whitacre. An American Grammy Award-winning composer and conductor. “Virtual Choir” projects, bringing individual voices from around the globe together into an online choir.
Piano suite by one of the most prominent music figures, French composer Claude Debussy (1890). Debussy commenced the suite in 1890 at age 28, but he did not finish or publish it until 1905.
Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, a British composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer.
Composed by German composer, and big band leader James Last, from same named album Biscaya (1981). He is well known for his ”happy music”. Became an international success in interpretations by Andy Williams and Petula Clark.
The Israeli national anthem (instrumental), written by Naphtali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Zolochiv, Ukraine (1877). He wrote the first version of his poem while being hosted as a guest by a Jewish scholar in the city of Iasi, Romania.
Originally published in 1853 as Méditation sur le Premier Prélude de Piano de S. Bach. Performed by Aaron Neville, an American R&B and soul singer.
Song by the American dream pop singer Julee Cruise. The instrumental version of the song, performed by Badalamenti, won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the 32nd Grammy Awards.
Composed by Greek composer Vangelis, composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, pop rock, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire Melodie from Albedo 0.39 and Cosmos.
Composed by Daniel Licht, an American film composer and musician. Licht’s eclectic musical tastes and knack for delivering the appropriate cue made his transition to film scoring inevitable.
Song by Modèle Mécanique. Minimal wave, minimal synth and french.
Brian Eno is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.
Instrumental song written for tv series Miami Vice. The Crockett refers to Don Johnson’s character. The song was composed by Jan Hammer.
A music theme from the movie ”A Beautiful Mind”, composed by James Roy Horner, an American composer, conductor, and orchestrator of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores.
From the The Trinity Session is a 1988 album by Cowboy Junkies. Blue Moon Revisited was originally released on ”It Came from Canada”, Vol. 4, a compilation of Canadian independent bands which is both a cover and an original, combining a new song by the band “Blue Moon”.
Song by Irish musician Enya, originally released as the second track on her 1991 album Shepherd Moons. The song mentions the Anemoi (Ancient Greek wind gods): Boreas, Afer Ventus (Africus), Eurus, and Zephyrus.
An instrumental theme written and recorded by Vangelis for the soundtrack of the 1981 film of the same name. “Chariots of Fire” has become somewhat synonymous with the Olympic Games. It was the official theme for the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
Accordion and piano driven music of Yann Tiersen. Soundtrack from the movie ”Amélie”. Yann Tiersen is a French musician. Recognized by distinctive sound, use of a large variety of instruments; primarily the guitar, synthesizer or violin together with other.
Originally a yiddish poem (lullaby) by Itzik Manger. The title means “On the Road Stands a Tree.” It tells the story of a boy who wants to become a bird so he can comfort a lonely tree during the winter, but his mother is worried that he’ll freeze in the cold weather.
From album Everything is Wrong, the third studio album by American electronica musician Moby, released in 1995. Everything is Wrong was released with a limited edition bonus disc of ambient music.
The Red Carpet is an original soundtrack song from World of Goo video game, composed by Kyle Gabler.
Composed and recorded by Irish singer Enya. Enya donated the earnings from the sale of that single to the Uniform Firefighters Association’s Widows’ and Children’s Fund to help the families of fire fighters in the aftermath of 9/11.
Jerusalem of Gold (ירושלים של זהב) is Israeli song written by Naomi Shemer in 1967. The original song described the Jewish people’s 2000-year longing to return to Jerusalem. Shemer added a final verse after the Six-Day War to celebrate Jerusalem’s re-unification.
Hans Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer and he has composed music for over 150 films. Zimmer’s works are notable for integrating electronic music sounds with traditional orchestral arrangements. Named on the list of Top 100 Living Geniuses.
Mike Volpe professionally known as Clams Casino, is an American hip hop producer. Clams Casino’s official debut EP, Rainforest, was released in 2011. I’m God is track from the television movie Lost in the New York (1989).
Berry Sakharof (Hebrew: ברי סחרוף) is an Israeli rock guitarist, songwriter and singer. Sakharof is one of Israel’s most popular and critically acclaimed musicians. He is nicknamed “the prince of Israeli rock”.
ויכלו השמים והארץ וכל צבאם. ויכל אלהים ביום השביעי מלאכתו אשר עשה. וישבת ביום השביעי מכל מלאכתו אשר עשה. ויברך אלהים את יום השביעי ויקדש אותוכי בו שבת מכל מלאכתו אשר ברא אלהים לעשות
This is the instrumental version of the song “The Way” originally featured on the album The Way. Music composed, orchestrated, and mixed by Zack Hemsey. Audio mastered by Lou Hemsey @ Lou Hemsey Music and Film.
Electronic transcription of Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, composed in 1695, for the procession of Queen Mary’s cortège through London en route to Westminster Abbey. A Clockwork Orange soundtrack.
Piyut for Havdala service famous throughout great Sephardic Jewish Communities of the Balkans. Musicians are Stefan Sablic – vocals, Elad Gabbay – kanun, Srdjan Djordjevic – doublebass, Shira utfila.
Triarii is a martial industrial and dark ambient music group from Germany.
The lyrics for the song are taken from Psalm 137:5-6, saying: If I Forget Thee Jerusalem.
The Belly of an Architect is written and directed by Peter Greenaway, featuring original music by Glenn Branca and Wim Mertens.