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Mark Frauenfelder at 2:28 pm Thu, Aug 30, 2012
Just like there is only one “The Dude” there is only one “The Moon”.
A comment in a recent BoingBoing entry the other day moved me to become an ordained dude of the cloth, permitted to perform weddings and etcetera.
“The moon. The main moon” – Mighty Boosh
I have a dog named “Dog”, a cat named “Cat”, and a daughter named “Girl”. I think that “Moon” is an excellent name for our moon.
I know two people with cats named Chicken. One of them died–one of the cats, not the people…
Anyway, maybe we could call the moon Asteroid or Sun. You know, just to mess with people.
We actually have a cat named Pusu, which means “cat” in Lingala (A language from Central Africa). I’m bad at naming things and my parents wouldn’t have gone for Schrodinger or something else geeky.
Just for the record, our moon’s official name is Luna.
Isn’t that just the generic latin word for “moon,” or is there another latin term to describe natural planetary satellites in general?
I doubt that there’s a generic Latin word for moon, since the Romans knew of no other moons, as neither did anyone else before the invention of the telescope.
Here’s the thing: those other moons? Their class is named after our own Moon. Our moon is the first. That’s why they are moons, and ours is the Moon (with a capital, even). Rename it, and it’ll just be a moon, with nothing to distinguish it from the others.
I doubt that there’s a generic Latin word for moon, since the Romans knew of no other moons…
I’m pretty sure the ancient Greeks and Romans didn’t know about Tyrannosaurus Rex either, but there you have it.
Latin is updated for scientific use to this day, and luna is also the generic term for a moon. But generic terms can still make good names – just ask Australia.
And of course particular names can make good generic names, too. I hope nobody is anxious to rename Band-aid brand band-aids.
Exactly. I mean, what is not cool about “Luna?” THE moon. Like THE SUN. We dont’ fuck with what IS. It just IS.
Our sun’s name is Sol, by the way.
Sol means Sun.
Our sun’s name is Sun, and Sol, and thousands of other names in other languages.
At the Latin Vicipaedia we’ve been using satelles (that is, satellite) as the generic term for moon. Luna is the name for the goddess and the Earth’s moon, and I don’t think any other moon was ever referred to as Luna in Latin. It is not a generic term.
Latin, on the other hand, does have a generic term for sun-as-in-star: stella. THE Sun, on the other hand, was Sol. I’m not sure whether any of the ancient Roman philosophers ever considered that Sol and the stellae were the same type of thing.
Apparently Anaxagoras pretty much had it figured out (even that the moon reflected the sun’s light). He was a pre-Socratic Hellenic philosopher. He probably wasn’t the only one.
I did not know that. He claimed that Sol and the stellae were the same kind of thing, and that we didn’t feel heat from the stellae because they were far away. But hey, he was Greek, and we sort of expect that from the Greeks :)
@RobertBaruch:disqus I didn’t know that either until I did a search. There were lots of Hellenistic philosophers saying lots of stuff so in some sense this is cherry picking one who happened to get it right. You may very well be right that the Hellenic philosophers were more intellectually diverse than their Roman successors. (I use “Hellenic” instead of “Greek” to make the distinction between the modern political state and the ancient ethnic group explicit. I don’t think it’s wrong to use “Greek” more loosely, just a personal preference.)
My favorite part was that he thought the sun was “bigger than the Peloponnese”. Well yeah…
Probably. Like how “Earth” more or less means “dirt”.
And there’s nothing wrong with that – this is how humans name things. I suspect that, if we ever meet a species from outer space, we will learn that the name for their planet translates roughly to “dirt”, too.
Didn’t they cover this in Dragonheart when Bowen Quaid decided to name Dragon Connery, Draco?
It’s silly to have the official name of something just be the same word in Latin.
Did you just admit you watched Dragonheart?
C’mon! Dragonheart is a great film; won’t win any awards but it’s a fun, entertaining film.
Won’t win any awards, apart from maybe a Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film.
Or a Hollywood Digital Award.
Not to mention several nominations.
I didn’t say I liked it.
Nope. “The Moon” is the official name in English.
Forget Latin, you know how you say “the moon” in spanish? “la luna”.
That is not a different name, it’s just a translation.
Same thing for the sun though, to be fair.
Wait, you mean to say that in Spanish the Moon and the Sun are BOTH called ‘la luna’? Crazy!
I’m pretty sure Luna was Sailor Moon’s cat.
Thank you!! This fact is the sole reason I checked the comments; to see if I needed to point this out.
Our moon HAS a a name, and her name is Luna. .. .. .. the problem that needs a solution is that, apparently, people aren’t aware of this.
So just say it with us everyone!! Luna. Luna. Luna. Luna Luna Luna. …. Luna is the moon and the moon is Luna.
Next crisis, please.
Next crisis, please.
THAT’S NO MOON.
Actually, the correct name for our planet’s satellite is “Luna” as we also call our systems star “sol”
How this group creation got around to being made without someone actually looking up to see if “the moon” already has a name escapes me.
Luna is apparently just Latin for Moon, so sayeth wikipedia. I always thought the proper name was Luna also, but perhaps that’s just something in science fiction literature to denote it from other moons.
I’m gonna have to trust NdGT on this one: https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/209391933255204864
Well all of those are the Latin terms. So in Latin Jupiter has many lunas or luni or whatever it would be.
The fact they are Latin terms does not negate their ability to be used in other ways. Latin is a dead spoken language, but its terms (and basis for many languages spoken today) are still used often. Binomial Nomenclature is a wonderful thing if you ask me. But again, our moon is called Luna. As simple as that.
From the IAU “Every civilization has had a name for the satellite of Earth that is known, in English, as the Moon. The Moon is known as Luna in Italian, Latin, and Spanish, as Lune in French, as Mond in German, and as Selene in Greek.”
Fact is it’s the Moon, Earth and Sun. Just because something has a Latin translation doesn’t mean the Latin word is authoritative. I’ve always felt that people that use the Latin terms were trying to sound snooty or PC.
It’s probably more correct to speak of Jupiter’s satellites rather than moons. Using moon is probably just more of a lazy way of saying their relationship to Jupiter is the same as the Moon’s relationship to Earth.
Fine, if you want to be heliocentric you just keep calling it “the moon” I prefer to it having an accepted name outside of its physical description. And using proper Latin names for things makes one snooty? Man..you must really hate ALL scientists.
I meant using the Latin terms for Earth, Moon and Sun. Find me a source, other than a tweet (twitter is many steps below wikipedia) that shows the Latin terms being the proper name.
From IAU.org “The IAU formally recommends that the initial letters of the names of individual astronomical objects should be printed as capitals (see the IAU Style Manual, Trans. Int. Astron. Union, volume 20B, 1989; Chapter 8, page S30 – PDF file); e.g., Earth, Sun, Moon, etc. “The Earth’s equator” and “Earth is a planet in the Solar System” are examples of correct spelling according to these rules.”"
I kind of think an international body would be the logical place to find the “proper” name of such a thing.
I think word from one of the world’s leading astrophysicists (no matter what the medium is) is perfectly acceptable as a defining source. Not my problem if you look down on the medium.
Neil deGrasse Tyson could be wrong. If the IAU’s own style manual specifies Moon, Earth and Sun, I’m going to lean towards accepting that rather than relying on hero worship.
And if knowing NdGT is an amazing, intelligent man who shares the same wonder of science and the universe makes it hero worship, then I am guilty as charged.
You can just continue to be heliocentric and self centered then. Some of us know this galaxy and universe is a lot bigger than you think and like to be ready for it. Calling it ‘the moon’ when it is just a moon and not giving it it’s own name is just arrogant and self centered.
That’s exactly what I was saying about being PC. Ridiculous. You can’t site one source other than a tweet. Just find one body responsible for naming celestial objects that backs you up.
Guess what, if you ever meet an alien, they are going to have their own language and their own terminology. They won’t be offended by us calling our moon the Moon. Nope, not gonna happen. They’ll have their own name for their own planet regardless of what we have named it.
An alien might not be offended, but they will sure laugh at us behind our backs when “those silly little hairless apes couldn’t even name their own satellite”
As for me “needing to cite another source” that is your ridiculous requirement, not mine. I am not going to go out of my way to find something for someone who is as so self-centered as you appear to be.
akbar56, I’ve sited sources, you haven’t. And NDG’s latest tweet even mentions “Moon”. You are the one being very arrogant.
And you even acknowledged that the Moon is our satellite. That’s what it is, a satellite. Earth’s natural satellite is the Moon. The term “moon” was adapted from “Moon” to mean a natural satellite orbiting a planet. That’s it. Nothing more to it.
Think of it like Cat on Red Dwarf. He was the only one of his species left there, and so he is The Cat because he was effectively unique.
Luna, Terra, & Sol are their names even to Germans although the German words for them are Mond, Erde und Sonne.
Germans have a word for dog also, but still call their Hunde “Hasso or Waldi”.
It’s their names.
Your name is latin.
@KeithLM:disqus: no source necessary. The moving stars were considered by the ancient Romans (and Greeks) as gods, and you never had more than one god with the same name. Sol was a god, Luna was a goddess, and Tellus was a god. The other lights in the sky were stellae. Venus was a goddess. Mars was a god.
Modern (i.e. Medieval and onwards) Latin uses stella for star (including our sun, whose name is Sol), satelles for moon (including our Moon, whose name is Luna), and planeta for planet (including ours, whose name is Tellus). We also have planetula for minor planet, asteroides for asteroid, and cometes for comet, the latter two being Latinized Greek.
Robert Baruch So you are saying that prior to the Ancient Romans no one ever thought to name the Earth, Moon and Sun? That seems to be your claim. That something special happened then and those names are now permanent. That’s awfully western-centric, isn’t it? Do none of the other civilizations and languages that came before or after even matter?
Fact is those are the Latin names. In English their proper names are Earth, Sun and Moon. Earth is a planet. Sun is a star. Moon is a satellite. We don’t call Jupiter an earth, we don’t call other stars suns. So Earth, Moon and Sun don’t need extra names. Each language has their proper name for them, and that’s just as valid as us English speaking folk referring to countries with names like Japan and Germany.
I’m going with the IAU, it’s the most logical thing to do. I don’t think there was anything special enough about Ancient Rome that makes it the end-all-be-all of naming. Because if it is, then nothing that was discovered after Ancient Rome fell could possibly have a name. No Americas, no various islands, no species discovered since then, no outer planets, no extra-solar planets.
I agree 100% with Conspirator. The IAU has a specificquestion about it, and they answered it, saying the same of the moon is “Moon.”
NdGT does not out-rank the IAU in terms of deciding nomenclature.
@KeithLM:disqus : sorry, I misunderstood you. I was just pointing out that Latin (like many other languages, as you say) used and uses a specific term for the specific planet we are on, the specific satellite of the planet we are on, and the specific fiery thing we circle around, that are not used for the generic class. Jupiter doesn’t have Lunae (which would be either multiple goddesses or multiple Earth’s Moons); it has satellites (Latin: sah-te’-lee-tes).
When you said “show me a source that the Latin terms are the proper name”, I misunderstood “proper name” to be the grammatical item (that is, a noun for a unique entity).
The International Astronomical Union says the English name for it is the Moon:
What other moons were known when Latin was a live language?
None. It was named the Moon and thought to be unique. Then when it was discovered other planets have similar satellites people just referred to them as those planets’ “moons” in order to define their relationship to the planet.
Jupiter’s Galilean moons — Latin was still commonly used in academia (not to mention the Church) in Galileo’s time.
That’s exactly not the answer to my question. People still speak Latin in the Vatican, but it hasn’t been a live language for quite some time, including Galileo’s time.
What language did Galileo speak? I’m guessing not English, therefore he probably didn’t use the English word moon nor the English name Moon.
Conspirator, Galileo was Italian so I am going to have to go with him calling the moon ‘Luna’
Viva lingua latina est.
Latin has a long history of being used. The problem is that it merged somewhat with the locals’ languages when Rome lost its influence, but it was picked up again more-or-less intact by Medieval times… and picked up a lot of Medievalisms. It has been used ever since, so in a sense Latin is still alive. There just happen to be no native speakers of it :)
@ Sagodjur Lingua zombie latina est.
The planet Jupiter has 63 moons. None of them is named ‘Moon.’
We can’t be sure of that until we ask the Jovians.
Hmph. That’s a predictably Joviacentric attitude. Shouldn’t we consult the denizens of those bodies we arrogantly name Io, Ganymede, et al?
Since Jupiter’s immense gravity makes life as we know it unlikely there, we probably wouldn’t be asking Jovians proper, but, say, Europans. Since their world is itself a moon, their perception of the very idea of moon-ness is likely to be different than ours.
ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS—EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.
It’s terrestrial imperialism to impose our names on the Selenites.
How far would Kennedy have got putting a man on Luna?
Better call Sol.
I think that “The” is a perfectly good name for it, why change
This has of course been suggested before, and it’s clear that the best new name would be Zylox.
“Moons” were named after The Moon, not the other way around. This is pointless.
Sure Jupiter has many moons, but none are THE moon. Think about the difference between saying, “You’re a man” and “You’re THE man!” That “the” is very important. Just as The Dude.
When we name our cats, we brainstorm every name we can think of and choose one as its first name. All the other names become middle names or nicknames. Most of the names we forget, and new nicknames come later. This is what we should do for naming the moon. This is what we have already been doing and continue to do for the moon. The most popular names win out, have displaced earlier names or languages, and will continue to be displaced by later names and languages. It’s all in the game, son.
I vote for “Newegg.com”
Isn’t it just Moon? Saying, “the Moon” is like saying, “the Mark.” The planet Earth’s natural satellite is named Moon or Luna. Jupiter’s natural satellites have other names. Simple, I don’t see any gaffes ;)
You’re missing out if you don’t demand to be referred to as “The Patrick”.
lol Once knew a guy who through some crazy happenstance, perhaps of his own design, was known as and called ‘The Patrick’.
Honestly, he didn’t seem like the standard of comparison nor all that original, that is unless all Patricks are somewhat douchey and hang out in sleazy bars looking for skanky women. Which I highly doubt.
If you compare the Earth-Moon system to the other natural satellites out there, it’s clear that the Moon isn’t even a moon. The Earth and Moon function together as a single binary planet. I would call this binary planet Sol-3, consisting of Sol-3α and Sol-3β.
But Sol is just Latin for “sun”! Now we’re right back to where we started!
And “England” – what kind of unimaginative name for a country is that? There’s already the New England states in the US, the city of England in Arkansas, the city of New England in North Dakota, the village of England in Germany, that song by Great Big Sea, and a bunch of international sports teams all called England.
They should rename the country to something that isn’t in use all over the place like “England” is.
Sure Jupiter has sixty-some moons, but not all of them have proper names; some of them are named “S/[year] J [number]” as in S/2010 J 2, which isn’t very catchy. Luna is fine by me. I mean, what would we call ours by that nomenclature? S/1,000,000BCE T 1? Not sure that would catch on.
This is about the absolute stupidest “issue” I’ve heard of.
I’m pretty sure this campaign is meant to be rather tongue-in-cheek seeing as how the proposed replacement names include “Neil,” “Orbital Non-Sequential Apparatus Number 482347189074924892″ and “Night Sky Dragon.”
My vote is for “The Dark Knight” just so we can make a “The Dark Knight Rises” joke every month.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster’s Fortress of Solitude Part Deux
“Yo Mama.” Think of the possibilities!
“Yo Mama so huge she controls the tide.”
“Yo Mama so crazy they named ‘lunatics’ after her.”
“Yo Mama has pockmarks big enough to drive a dune-buggy in.”
“Yo Mama so skanky that every time she’s had company it’s been two dudes on her at once.”
“Yo Mama so nasty she had Pink Floyd all up in her dark side.”
Wait, I’ve got more:
“Yo Mama so gross that everybody who visits her has to spend two weeks in quarantine afterwards.”
“Yo Mama so foul that people used to think she was made of green cheese.”
“Yo Mama so scary that Jackie Gleason used to invoke her name whenever he’d threaten his wife.”
“Yo Mama so dirty that her entire outer surface is covered in crust.”
“Yo Mama so pale that people use her to find their way in the dark.”
“Yo Mama such a glutton that it takes a whole month for her to get full.”
The Earth is orbited by The Moon. The Moon is that rock that orbits the only planet that has homo sapiens and since The Moon is unique in all languages extant among homo sapiens anointing a synonym seems useless.
Now, even should it turn out that some other planet harbors homo sapiens I think the event would be fraught with many issues more important than the lunar moniker.
Let’s call it Urectum
for that name, my dixie wrecked
No worse than Earth, or Sun.
Anyway, I vote for Sol 3.1
If we rename it, what will we call the Mooninites?
It’s not A moon, it’s THE Moon. I guess now we’re going to “petition” (snark) to rename The Sun to something else. And while we’re at it let’s rename Earth to something else because that’s also a stupid name. And Humans? That’s so last century, lets call ourselves something more advanced and cool sounding.
It has a name like Luna does.
I’ll keep calling it The Moon and I’m sure the B52s will as well:
This is really a pressing issue.
Let’s call it “Murray”.
But seriously, we call it “The Moon” and they’re all called “moons” if they orbit a larger, non-stellar object.
First dibs, MoFos! British postage stamps don’t say UK because they (the British) invented the postage stamp. USA websites don’t end in dot-com-dot-(country prefix) because they invented the infrastructure.
But even all this is beside the point. I mean, isn’t the term “natural satellites” a well accepted standard across language barriers?
Ignignokt: Some would say that the Earth is our moon.
Err: We’re the Moon.
Ignignokt: But that would belittle the name of our moon, which is: The Moon
The point is, WE’RE the center!@!
Never mind the moon. What about The Galaxy? The so-called ‘name’ Milky Way (or Via Lactea, for those who insist on bringing up the Latin, which is just another way of saying ‘galaxy’ anyway) is just a dumb, not very accurate, description of its visual effect on humans who didn’t have the first clue what it really was.
It needs a proper name. There are people over there in our neighbour Andromeda who, one day, are going to ask us where we’re from. If we just say ‘the galaxy’ it’ll be plain embarrassing.
As far as we know, the dominant Andromedan name for our galaxy might be an eons-old poetic reference to “Orion’s Loincloth Skidmark.” Or maybe they’ll be a species with a cultural imperative toward absolutely unique names. Maybe they don’t think in metaphors. Whatever. I don’t think there’s any reason to assume that alien races are necessarily any more or less elegant or embarrassing at naming things than we are.
I just hope they don’t find us delicious, too stupid/immoral/unattractive to live, or simply beneath their dignity to notice.
Sure, but New Yorkers say “the city” when they mean Manhattan. And I think those just outside of NYC say “the city” when they mean NYC. So if I were an intergalactic Earth-based traveller, I’d probably say “the galaxy” to refer to ours.
Via Lactea doesn’t mean galaxy, any more than Luna means (generic) moon. Via Lactea is that splotchy ribbon of light in the sky that looks like spilled milk, and has been adopted as the name of our galaxy when we realized that it was a galaxy. Galaxias means galaxy in Modern Latin, in any case.
I think it’s more pressing to rename Uranus.
I never could figure out why they didn’t go with ‘Ouranos’. All these smart scientists and not one stepped in to prevent all the scatological jokes??
That’s why they’ll have renamed it in 2620
How could we make dumb jokes about Klingons if it were named anything else?
Easy, we’ll tell them we’re from The Planet.
b-but that’s Brooklyn
Surely when the term ‘moon’ was first coined in reference to ‘The’ Moon, everybody still thought that the earth was flat, the stars were angels and the sun rotated around the earth’s horizon? So the notion that there were other planets that might have moon-like bodies wasn’t even a consideration. In the wake of astronomical enlightenment, we were lazy and settled on using ‘moon’ for any rock in planetary orbit instead of settling on a more appropriate scientific term (in fact we have satellite – but these days that would cause confusion). It would make more sense to fix that and leave The Moon as-is.
So what? Our planet’s name means “dirt.”
I suggest calling it “legos” to really send people into a frenzy.
We are Mooninites from the inner core of the moon.
Our race is hundreds of years beyond yours.
Some would say that the Earth is our moon.
But that would belittle the name of our moon, which is: The Moon.
Just remember no one can defeat the quad laser.
it will amaze ya.
Sorry, when your barycenter is firmly within the other body, you are the moon. Deal with it.
Let’s just call it “Keith”. Everyone in the galaxy will get that.
It’ll choke them up
My generation called it “the moon,” but we can substitute “Keith” if you like. If people don’t get the joke, I can’t explain.
I say let us name Earth “Moon” and Moon “Earth,” to confuse invaders.
I kinda scanned through here pretty quick, but I didn’t see the word ‘satellite’ mentioned anywhere. I’m pretty sure all of those things orbiting planets are satellites. Ours is named ‘Moon’ and ‘Luna’. I dig these names but not so much all of the modern references to ancient literature. I’d rather more ‘made-up’ names, like ‘Moon’ or ‘Luna’. I can just see ‘em now, pointing at the sky, uttering one of the first words ‘moonaphracusabooboo!’ later shortened to…moon.
It is an old, old word. I just checked the OED, which sent me from the “moon” entry to the “month” entry to an extremely old sense of the word “meal,” which it turns out used to mean “a particular time or occasion.” (The sense in which we use “meal” now is a specific case of that meaning — food eaten at a particular time. I did not know that.)
Anyway, my point is, “moon,” “month,” and “meal” all likely come from a common Indo-European root that seems to have meant something like “to measure.”
I think this means the moon’s name likely comes from people using its visible periodic changes to measure time. That idea fascinates me. It didn’t get a special name unto itself, it was just named for how people used it.
That’s interesting, but also bizarre. Is the OED suggesting that the ancient Indo-Europeans didn’t have a name for the great white orb hanging over their head’s every night?
I would imagine that the name for the moon came first, and then they started using it to also refer to measuring time intervals. The latter is a far more abstract concept than the former, especially as the former probably was involved in stories and creation myths since the dawn of time. (Or… dusk of time, or something.)
I’m pretty sure that the common proto Indo-European root actually means “to drop trou and display one’s bare butt in public.”
So you think braccae [pants] goes back to proto-Indo-European?
I certainly feel its (figurative and literal) relationship to mother/parent earth should be represented in some way, if there is to be a name worthy enough in tone and spirit. It’s a logical endeavor, but without any eureka type “feel” that inspires, not to mention acknowledges the human element on Earth, what’s the point. Paedo, Pais, Pedi and other Greek words are a derivative of “child”. That seems like a solid starting point.
Yeah, but as well as a child, it’s also a friend. The name should represent that, too.
It’s name is George, deal with it.
No, that’s the other moon. But it’s nice someone else has read Dhalgren.
Arguing that the Latin word is just “moon” in a different language seems silly. Animals and plants are classified with Latin names. And what is the name of the Sea of Tranquility? It’s formally known as Mare Tranquillitatis.
Now granted, later celestial discoveries have moved away from strictly Latin (or Arabic) names, but the (near) original Latin names seem perfectly useful as formal names.
This Terran, for one, will gladly identify our satellite as Luna to any visitors who happen to pass through the Sol system.
Looks like we also need names for the North Pole, tbe South Pole, and the equator.
The Eye Of Odin.
It’s not like we couldn’t think of a name for our moon so we called it The Moon. It was the other way around. We came up with a cool, unique name for it, then we extended the use of the word ‘moon’ to other moons as we discovered them. Earth? Now there’s a stupid name!
why is it that we still call our planet “dirt”?
It’s not even mostly dirt any way, it’s mostly water.
Um, only on the surface. Didn’t we go over this a few weeks ago?
we’re not a race of mole people and therefore only care about the surface world and the veneer thin layer of atmosphere on top of it.
oh and I suppose we really care about the carbon under the surface… How about “Carbonia”?
After that ass hole monster that would rather die then let you have it’s Jewels? I don’t think so!
Luna orbits Terra.
Terra orbits Sol.
Or if you prefer, the Moon orbits the Earth, and the Earth orbits the Sun.
It’s a moot point. Until we run into other life forms in the universe, we can call the objects of our galaxy whatever we want. Names are meant to designate via their commonality. The best names are those that are most unanimously agreed upon. Everything else is just fluff.
Once we contact another species and have to compromise on what designations particular galactic objects are given, THEN this will be an issue. Until then, “the Moon” is as good a name as any, because we mostly all agree as to what it designates.
What?? Seriously? “The Moon” is an awesome name! The only reason that we say that Jupiter and other planets have moons is that they have satellites going around them that are somewhat similar to… The Moon.
Whether you want to call it Moon, Luna, La Lune, Yueqiu, or The Horned One, all of our names for her are some of the most primal words in Human, and are ancient and perfect.
Ok. Let’s look to the experts here.
Why not make it Japanese?
They like the moon more than we do.
Do we have parties to look at the moon?
OK, I’ve proved my point.
Maybe we ought to put away our Western prejudices, and name it in some other cultures’ language.
That said, “Moon” is just fine as it is.
Ceti Alpha V
Tiu or Yue
Avatar displays a great melting-pot of many worldly views (which create an awesome philosophy), and Tiu is the moon spirt that allows water bending. The moon spirit was killed by fire-benders and Yue merged her spirit with the moon’s to give it back life.
Nobody has mentioned that if we do send humans to Mars and they live there, they may not enjoy calling Luna “The Moon” when they have two of their own. Sure it’s “The Moon” or la lune. For now.
Moongina, of course.
Canadian preference: Looney
While we are at it, we should also get a decent name for our species („human“ doesn’t cut it) and some of those monotheistic guys are awfully cocky with that capital G.
“Human” is good. You just need to remember that “people” is a term that includes humans and aliens, while “human” refers to a race.
Oh, so the Earth speaks English now?
The book in which Galileo announced the discovery of the four Galilean satellites, which he called the Medicean stars (Medicea sidera – yes, Latin has multiple words for star), was the *Siderius Nuncius*, the *Starry Messenger*, and was written in Latin. Doesn’t help, does it?
Jack Pate’s right. We should call all 63 of Jupiter’s moons “Moon.” It’ll avoid confusion.
(*63*!? There were only 12 whe I was growing up. They’ll let anyone in these days.)
Where you been, man? We don’t even have 9 planets in our solar system anymore.
i couldn’t disagree more. “the moon” and “the sun” are perfect names. why do we have to brand everything, why can’t we just call things what they are.
Ooh, branding! You’re right! We should call it “The Coca-Cola Moon”! Or, you know, whichever brand is sponsoring it today.
Or just call it “The Billboard” and project a rotating series of corporate logos on it nightly. Since every other available space is already crammed with advertising.
We could use the Latin name Luna, the Old English name Mōna, or the Greek name Selene.
Or the Neolithic name Ugha-mmuh. It means, in High Neolithic, “thing in sky watching me masturbate”.
“This has got to be the biggest astronomical gaffe in the Universe.”
Except for naming the star we orbit around “The Sun”. Really.
And while we are at it “The Earth. is kind of lame too. So generic. Like naming your child “Person” or “Child”.
What’s wrong with Luna? You like maybe “Glenn Beck’s Buttock”?
Name the Terran moon “Marina” after Galileo’s mistress. She really was treated like crap by him & when you think about it, that name kind of makes sense: Galileo is best known for naming the moons of Jupiter, but he ignored the moon closest to him… Much like Marina di Andrea Gamba.
Also it suits a dual purpose since “Marina” can mean a port at sea… A space port… And in the future, someone is going to make the moon a hub of something.
The moon has several names – Luna and also Selene as well as countless other historical names from other cultures. It’s only “The Moon” to people who assume English and Anglophone culture is the only one that matters.
Has anyone actually seen the moon? Its completely daft.
Selene… the Greek Godess