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(io9)   Ten weird rules that control how we name the planets   (io9.com) divider line 56
    More: Interesting, planets, dwarf planets, Kuiper Belt, IAU, James Clerk Maxwell, designations, Morningstar  
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6800 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Jul 2012 at 7:15 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-12 07:04:58 AM

rocky_howard: Also, why is it named Earth, anyway? Seems like a very random decision.


This is something I've always wondered. I mean, was there a global consensus thousands of years ago where everyone agreed to call our world 'Earth?' How was that the name for our world decided upon? Surely different cultures would have had many different names?
 
2012-07-12 09:15:06 AM

Coelacanth: The 11th rule should be how big an invasion fleet it can build.


You mean the one at Solace?
 
2012-07-12 09:17:25 AM

La Mit: rocky_howard: Also, why is it named Earth, anyway? Seems like a very random decision.

This is something I've always wondered. I mean, was there a global consensus thousands of years ago where everyone agreed to call our world 'Earth?' How was that the name for our world decided upon? Surely different cultures would have had many different names?


Seeing that our world is also called Gaia which falls into the Greek mythos. I could see Earth being similar to the fact that we call our Sun the Sun and not Sol.
 
2012-07-12 10:51:54 AM

Great Porn Dragon: flaminio:
And as an addendum, there's actually a pretty simple list of the present rules for naming asteroids and other minor planets:

a) For main-body asteroids and minor planets otherwise unclassifiable: Sixteen letters max, must be pronounceable, must not be a form of advertising or political statement, no pet names, no political or military leaders until 100 years dead, generally encouraged that naming after living persons should be persons notable in the discoverer's home country and/or having advanced astronomy in some way, people/companies/products ONLY notable for business not accepted, submitted names subject to IAU approval.


(lotsa snip)

First, thanks for taking my snark so seriously. Fascinating stuff. I don't really have a problem with however the IAU and MPC name stuff -- if they want to name a minor planet after Eddie Izzard (196000 Izzard) or every member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, that's just fine with me. But it's also good to have rules so we don't end up with 196001 Johanngambolputtydevonausfernschplendenschlittercrasscrenbonfrieddigge rdingledangledongledunglebursteinvonknackerthrasherapplebangerhorowitz ticolensicgranderknottyspelltinklegrandlichgrumblemeyerspelterwasserku rstlichhimbleeisenbahnwagengutenabendbitteeinnürnburgerbratwustlegersp urtenmitzweimacheluberhundsfutgumberabershönedankerkalbsfleischmittler auchervonhautkopftofulm.

Thing with minor planets is that there are just so freakin' many of them (thousands upon thousands remain unnamed) that no coherent set of naming rules can ever name them all (if this even is a desireable goal).

Personally, I wouldn't mind if the MPC opened it up to retail. We all know that buying stars is a scam, but if you could name a minor planet for real for $99.95 (which basically would just get your name in the book and a certificate), I think the MPC could make some serious coin off of that which could be used to benefit astronomy and science in general.
 
2012-07-12 04:28:50 PM

yves0010: La Mit: rocky_howard: Also, why is it named Earth, anyway? Seems like a very random decision.

This is something I've always wondered. I mean, was there a global consensus thousands of years ago where everyone agreed to call our world 'Earth?' How was that the name for our world decided upon? Surely different cultures would have had many different names?

Seeing that our world is also called Gaia which falls into the Greek mythos. I could see Earth being similar to the fact that we call our Sun the Sun and not Sol.


Problem might be that humanity didn't come to grips that it was living on a spinning ball of mud until relatively recently. We didn't know it was a thing to be named until long after the Greeks and long before modern naming conventions could invent something better.

So what we got is a series of inelegant words adopted from the dominant cultures that are better for describing what you're standing on than for describing a planet.
 
2012-07-13 10:57:52 AM

1000 Ways to Dye: taurusowner: As long as we're on it, can we please change the name of Earth to something cooler sounding? Even "Terra" would be better.

Considering the Earth is mostly covered in water, maybe something more aquatic?


Moist?
 
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