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Goddess on the Edge


Sedna dwells in a remote region of space, a distant world whose recent discovery triples the size of our solar system. From her icy surface, the sun seems only a twinkling star. (Brown, n.d.c.)


Extremely cold, vividly red, eccentric in orbit and mysterious in constitution, she was first sighted on November 14, 2003, 06:32 AM UT at Palomar Mountain, California. Nothing this far away has ever been seen before.

Professor Michael Brown's discovery was named for the Inuit goddess of the Arctic seas. Estimated at about 1800 km, or 2/3 the size of Pluto, Sedna is the largest and most outlying body found since 1930 (Unless 2003UB131 proves larger, and it looks like it will!)

Sedna orbits somewhere beyond the outer edge of the Kuiper Belt and the inner periphery of the hypothesized Oort cloud, a vast source of comets and other frozen bodies thought to extend half way to the next nearest star, Alpha Centauri. Her distance is between 76AU and 942AU, making a single journey around the sun in about 11,500 years. Read more about the astronomical Sedna . . .


Mythological Sedna: The Inuit goddess Sedna resides in the icy depths of the arctic seas. There she rules all marine life, and controls the fate of humans by releasing her bounty to respectful hunters and withholding it from the careless. Disregard for the sacredness of life is the worst offence. When this happens, her long hair tangles with filth and requires a shaman’s journey to appease her rage.


Sedna was once a beautiful girl. Many suitors came to ask for her hand in marriage yet she rejected them all until a mysterious man arrives dressed in very fine skins and feathers. Intrigued by the promise of warmth and abundance, she agrees to wed. (Jenks, 2004)


But her husband’s turns out to be a bird spirit, who only brings her raw fish. When her father attempts a rescue, the husband pursues. Frightened, he tosses her overboard, chopping of her fingers as she clings to the side. When her finger joints fall into the sea, they turn into seals, whales, polar bears, fish, dolphins and walruses. Sedna sinks below the waves, her upper body remaining a woman and her lower body transforming into a fish or dolphin. Read more mythology . . .