Venetia Burney

Attribution: J. Weston & Sons, Eastbourne Wikipedia (fair use)

Venetia Burney


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Venetia Burney, the English woman who played a pivotal role in the naming of Pluto, was born on July 11, 1918, in Banstead, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Venetia's remarkable connection to the world of astronomy began in 1930 when she was just 11 years old. During breakfast on March 14, 1930, she overheard her grandfather discussing the recent discovery of a new celestial object beyond Neptune, which had been named Pluto. Intrigued by this news, she suggested the name "Pluto" to her grandfather, who happened to be a librarian at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, with connections to the world of academia.

Venetia's suggestion was not only well-received by her grandfather but also by her father, who was an Oxford University librarian. Her father, in turn, communicated her idea to an Oxford professor of astronomy, Herbert Hall Turner. Impressed by the suggestion, Turner then forwarded it to the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, where Clyde Tombaugh had discovered the new planet.

On May 1, 1930, Venetia Burney's proposed name "Pluto" was officially adopted for the newly discovered ninth planet in the solar system. This name was chosen partly because it started with the letters "PL," the initials of Percival Lowell, the founder of the Lowell Observatory, and because it symbolized the distant and mysterious nature of the planet.

Venetia Burney's contribution to the naming of Pluto made her a small but significant part of astronomical history. Her suggestion not only gave the newly discovered planet its iconic name but also captured the public's imagination. She went on to pursue a career in education and teaching, and her connection to the world of astronomy remained a unique and enduring part of her legacy.

Venetia Burney lived a long and fulfilling life, passing away on April 30, 2009, at the age of 90. Her role in the naming of Pluto remains a charming and enduring story in the history of astronomy, demonstrating how the curiosity and imagination of a young girl could leave an indelible mark on science.


Venetia Burney has Sun in Cancer, Moon in Leo.

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Sabian Symbols

Influenced by Baroque

108°, Sun in Cancer, Baroque artwork
145°, Moon in Leo, Baroque artwork
124°, Mercury in Leo, Baroque artwork
74°, Venus in Gemini, Baroque artwork
188°, Mars in Libra, Baroque artwork
89°, Jupiter in Gemini, Baroque artwork
134°, Saturn in Leo, Baroque artwork
327°, Uranus in Aquarius, Baroque artwork
126°, Neptune in Leo, Baroque artwork
95°, Pluto in Cancer, Baroque artwork
4°, Chiron in Aries, Baroque artwork
260°, North Node in Sagittarius, Baroque artwork
North NodeSagittarius
80°, South Node in Gemini, Baroque artwork
South NodeGemini
188°, Lilith in Libra, Baroque artwork
192°, Ascendant in Libra, Baroque artwork
106°, Midheaven in Cancer, Baroque artwork


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Natal Data

Map at Lat 51.3221909, Lng -0.205046

1918-07-11 Unknown Time GMT

51° 19′ 19.9″ N 0° 12′ 18.2″ W

Banstead, UK


1x Records. Last Queried: Sep 23, 2023 12:08 AM GMT