Over on the Urania blog, a new scholarly/scientific essay in Italian by Albino Carbognani, on Lovecraft’s first publication in a national journal. This was the letter to Scientific American, advising on a method of detecting the presence of possible planets beyond Neptune…

From the conclusion of Carbognani’s essay (my approximate translation), in which he suggests naming any beyond-Pluto planet ‘Yuggoth’…

“In 1999 two groups of researchers claimed to have proof of the presence of an unknown planet at the edges of the solar system, due to the alignment of [the paths of] long-period comets [but today, to prove such a theory] there is [still] the need to have a [wider] sample of long-period comets that is free from selection effects. Full details of this kind may be provided by the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, to be launched in the spring of 2013. Gaia should allow the discovery of about 1,000 long-period comets during its five year mission. Will an analysis of the distribution of [their] cometary aphelia [paths] give us details about the existence of a true ‘Yuggoth’ planet? It would be very symbolic to call any [new outer] planet by that name, the name summoned from the fervid imagination of Lovecraft to designate the hypothetical trans-Neptunian planetary body that he anticipated astronomers should find the edge of the Solar System.”


Incidentally that very same edition of Scientific American carried an ad for the Remington, the same typewriter Lovecraft had used to type his letter…

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