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kucharek
2004-Mar-17, 08:52 AM
In SF-movies, planets often have names with numbers. As long as these are worlds where no one lives on, I can understand this. Take the name of the star and number the planets.
But often, inhabited worlds are also following this scheme, even when inhabited by natives.
I think, no self-respecting resident of a planet would allow such a name for his planet.
But it would be an interesting question how we would ask extra-terrestrial how they should call our planet after they learnt that xwyll-brz (xwyll the name their astronomers gave our sun a long time ago, brz meaning "three" in their language). Would we agree on "Terra"?

Harald

Gremalkyn
2004-Mar-17, 09:05 AM
Depends on who gets to vote. If left up to the general populace, this place might wind up being called just about anything (though probably something Chinese or Indian).

eburacum45
2004-Mar-17, 09:22 AM
I like the naming system used by the mechanoid Gaijin in Stephen Baxter's book Space;

their home planet is called Zero-Zero-Zero-Zero, as it is the centre of their coordinate system in time and space.

informant
2004-Mar-17, 02:57 PM
In SF-movies, planets often have names with numbers. As long as these are worlds where no one lives on, I can understand this. Take the name of the star and number the planets.
But often, inhabited worlds are also following this scheme, even when inhabited by natives.
I think, no self-respecting resident of a planet would allow such a name for his planet.
It might be the name of the planet in Earth terminology, rather than the name in a native language...


But it would be an interesting question how we would ask extra-terrestrial how they should call our planet after they learnt that xwyll-brz (xwyll the name their astronomers gave our sun a long time ago, brz meaning "three" in their language). Would we agree on "Terra"?

Harald
You're trying not to be English-centric, but you're still being West-centric. Although it's true that Latin --- a dead language --- has been regarded as a neutral "international" language in some contexts, including astronomy.
Of course, we would still have to teach the aliens how to pronounce it (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=11744)! #-o

Grand Vizier
2004-Mar-17, 04:46 PM
Brian Aldiss has a story where Earth joins this vast galactic federation. The only problem is that every planet has to have a unique name. So it's like...

'Earth? Nah, we've got one of them'
'Terra? Sorry, that's taken too - try more syllables...'

Anyway we end up with some stoopid name like Slobbogasticon or something. Basically, much the same as with Internet domain names...

informant
2004-Mar-17, 04:48 PM
Galaxies Like Grains of Sand?

Grand Vizier
2004-Mar-17, 04:53 PM
Galaxies Like Grains of Sand?

That's the one, thanks. Away from my bookshelves right now, or I'd check what they really did call Earth...

Demigrog
2004-Mar-17, 07:25 PM
The B5 Psi Corps novel trilogy has a neat conversation between Bester and the guy seated next to him on a transport about why there are so many "Beta Colony" planets. They start out as mere secondary bases and the name sticks...

Good books, by the way.

mike alexander
2004-Mar-17, 09:37 PM
But the bright stars are Arabic.

I happen to think the names add magic: Altair, Alnilam, Algol, Mizar...

Wingnut Ninja
2004-Mar-18, 03:43 AM
Hyperion has some of my favorite planet names. Great diversity: Tau Ceti Center, Kastrop-Rauxel, T'ien Shan, Fuji, Hebron, and tons of others. It's like they threw every culture into a hat and started picking out names.

JohnOwens
2004-Mar-18, 03:59 AM
I always wondered, and then I think I made up my mind at some point in reading, but I don't remember just why: In Dune (the books, not the movies, so a little OT), was it supposed to be the case that Ix was the ninth planet in its system, and over time IX had come to be used as a name for it, pronounced 'Icks'? :-k

Odinoneeye
2004-Mar-18, 04:02 AM
in Illegal Aliens, every planet is named Dirt in the native language.

QuagmaPhage
2004-Mar-18, 10:13 AM
I always wondered, and then I think I made up my mind at some point in reading, but I don't remember just why: In Dune (the books, not the movies, so a little OT), was it supposed to be the case that Ix was the ninth planet in its system, and over time IX had come to be used as a name for it, pronounced 'Icks'? :-k

IIRC that was mentioned in God Emperor of Dune.

Maksutov
2004-Mar-18, 10:39 AM
Galaxies Like Grains of Sand?

That's the one, thanks. Away from my bookshelves right now, or I'd check what they really did call Earth...

In one of Mark Twain's stories, Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, the name for Earth was "The Wart". 8)

WHarris
2004-Mar-18, 12:38 PM
I always wondered, and then I think I made up my mind at some point in reading, but I don't remember just why: In Dune (the books, not the movies, so a little OT), was it supposed to be the case that Ix was the ninth planet in its system, and over time IX had come to be used as a name for it, pronounced 'Icks'? :-k

IIRC that was mentioned in God Emperor of Dune.

I believe it was first mentioned in Dune Messiah, the second book.

Paul Beardsley
2004-Mar-18, 12:42 PM
Ix was, of course, Ford Prefect's nickname when he was at school, as explained in a footnote in Hitch Hiker's. It has something to do with him surviving the falling hrung disaster, and it means something like (and I'm quoting from memory) "Boy who cannot adequately explain what a hrung is, nor why it should choose to fall on Betelgeuse 4."

Also in Hitch Hiker's, IIRC the Golgafrincham name for Earth was Fintlewoodlewix.

jokergirl
2004-Mar-18, 01:44 PM
Ix was, of course, Ford Prefect's nickname when he was at school, as explained in a footnote in Hitch Hiker's. It has something to do with him surviving the falling hrung disaster, and it means something like (and I'm quoting from memory) "Boy who cannot adequately explain what a hrung is, nor why it should choose to fall on Betelgeuse 4."

Also in Hitch Hiker's, IIRC the Golgafrincham name for Earth was Fintlewoodlewix.


ARGH! I wanted to quote the thing about IX in Dune since I first read the title of this thread!
Well, too late it seems :cry:


I like the naming system used by the mechanoid Gaijin in Stephen Baxter's book Space;

their home planet is called Zero-Zero-Zero-Zero, as it is the centre of their coordinate system in time and space.

Does this make sense? Center the coordinate system on a quickly moving point?

"Oh, your planet was 12-34-56-78 in summer. Now it's winter, learn these new coordinates."

Of course everything in space moves, and motion is relative, sooo... :-k

;)

tracer
2004-Mar-18, 10:20 PM
In SF-movies, planets often have names with numbers. As long as these are worlds where no one lives on, I can understand this. Take the name of the star and number the planets.
And wouldn't you know it -- as soon as astronomers started detecting real planets around other stars, they messed up the system!

Every SF fan knows, from boy-or-girlhood, that planets have to be named by taking the name of a star and adding a Roman numeral after it -- "Tau Ceti VI", "Rigel IV", "Sol III", "Alpha Centauri A I", etc.. So, when Marcy and Butler and the rest of that crowd finally detected a planet orbiting 51 Pegasi, they should have called it "51 Pegasi I". But what did they end up calling it? "51 Pegasi b"! It looks just like the name of a binary star system component, except the letter is in lower case!

And worse, this convention stuck. "47 Urase Majoris b". "70 Virginis b". BAH! Marcy and Butler have single-handedly ruined an entire century of good science fiction!!

I want my money back.

Wingnut Ninja
2004-Mar-19, 01:51 AM
I want my money back.

And cancel my subscription.

AGN Fuel
2004-Mar-19, 02:34 AM
Does this make sense? Center the coordinate system on a quickly moving point?

I think Yannox would feel OK about it! :wink:

JohnOwens
2004-Mar-19, 07:25 AM
Does this make sense? Center the coordinate system on a quickly moving point?
I think Yannox would feel OK about it! :wink:
No, he wouldn't. After all, that point on which it's centered isn't moving at all! :wink:

bobjohnston
2004-Mar-22, 10:32 PM
In Harry Turtledove's Noninterference stories, the interstellar survey teams have the computer randomly generate a name for the primary star when they find an interesting planet, then they number the planets; Bilbeis IV is the planet of interest in the stories.

Tom
2004-Mar-22, 11:31 PM
Although it's true that Latin --- a dead language ---

:o WHO KILLED LATIN? :o

Somebody tell the US Treasury, quick!

And the Pope...

And Mel Gibson.

daver
2004-Mar-23, 12:16 AM
Although it's true that Latin --- a dead language ---

:o WHO KILLED LATIN? :o

Somebody tell the US Treasury, quick!

And the Pope...

And Mel Gibson.
Just on the chance that you don't know:

languages that have no "native" speakers are considered dead languages. Latin during the middle ages was widely known--much more of a lingua franca than French, yet because it had no native speakers and had essentially stopped changing was considered a "dead" language. There are certain advantages to dead languages--words don't of a sudden change their meanings--a stick doesn't become a cigarette or a musical instrument or a person with an alternative sexual lifestyle.

JohnOwens
2004-Mar-23, 09:13 AM
...a stick doesn't become a cigarette or a musical instrument or a person with an alternative sexual lifestyle.
OT: Just curious, is there some kind of musical instrument known by that particular name? Or is it some other term for a stick you mean? Or is that just a rhetorical one which it hasn't become?
If it is an instrument, what kind?

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-23, 02:20 PM
I imagine that if a planet had been known by a number, like Tau-Ceti III, and got colonized, there would be a proposed name, made up by whatever criteria. The colonists may actually adopt the name, but people on Earth would keep using the old name out of habbit. Over time they may drop the III and just call it Tau-Ceti. "Where are you going?" "I am going to Tau-Ceti." They will know you are not going to the star itself.

They may come up with naming system based on some criteria like the use of Roman gods we use in our solar system. For example, Tau Ceti is a one of the stars in the constalation of Cetis (sp?) the whale. So the planets may be given names like Orca, Rorqual, Beluga, Sei, etc.

Just a thought.

informant
2004-Mar-23, 02:58 PM
Cetus (http://www.cpither.freeserve.co.uk/constellation_names.htm).

daver
2004-Mar-23, 05:05 PM
If it is an instrument, what kind?
bassoon, and it's a stretch (i believe it's Italian). I googled around a bit to confirm that; in 1911 it also described a type of vote, made by splitting a property up into many pieces, each one just barely qualifying for the franchise.

eburacum45
2004-Mar-24, 07:42 AM
Tau Ceti (http://www.orionsarm.com/worlds/Tau_Ceti.html)

Strictly speaking, these planets should be labeled Tau Ceti b, Tau ceti c and so on;
perhaps I'll persuade Alan to change them one day.

incidentally, extrasolar planets are labeled in the order of discovery, so the 'b' planet is usually the largest or the one most easily detected.

Starlionblue
2004-Mar-24, 11:08 AM
in Illegal Aliens, every planet is named Dirt in the native language.


Stolen from "The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World", by Harry Harrison, in which Earth (or Dirt) is long forgotten :D

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-24, 12:19 PM
Tau Ceti (http://www.orionsarm.com/worlds/Tau_Ceti.html)

Strictly speaking, these planets should be labeled Tau Ceti b, Tau ceti c and so on;
perhaps I'll persuade Alan to change them one day.

incidentally, extrasolar planets are labeled in the order of discovery, so the 'b' planet is usually the largest or the one most easily detected.

Interesting. If you have ever studied for your Amature Radio liscence you may recall that there are no A or B layers in the Ionosphere. When the first layer was discovered it wad decided to call it the D layer since they were sure that there was at least one other layer below it that had not been detected.

In any case, I do not see confusion starting until more than one planet or moon in a system is colonized.

kucharek
2004-Mar-24, 12:22 PM
Tau Ceti (http://www.orionsarm.com/worlds/Tau_Ceti.html)

Strictly speaking, these planets should be labeled Tau Ceti b, Tau ceti c and so on;
perhaps I'll persuade Alan to change them one day.

incidentally, extrasolar planets are labeled in the order of discovery, so the 'b' planet is usually the largest or the one most easily detected.

Interesting. If you have ever studied for your Amature Radio liscence you may recall that there are no A or B layers in the Ionosphere. When the first layer was discovered it wad decided to call it the D layer since they were sure that there was at least one other layer below it that had not been detected.


They should have been also that smart with the labeling of the Saturn rings...

Harald

Ripper 2.0
2004-Mar-24, 12:44 PM
Another good example. I had forgotten about that one.

kucharek
2004-Mar-24, 12:49 PM
Another good example. I had forgotten about that one.

Well, at least we are on an astronomy board here... ;-)

Thanks god they got it right when letters were discovered. Can you imagine the mess if they would have labeled an 'A' f, 'B' q, 'C' m,...?
:^o
Oh, a counter example are these darn componists: c d e f g a h Aaargghhh!
8-[

Harald

Chris CII
2004-Mar-25, 02:35 PM
Oh, a counter example are these darn componists: c d e f g a h Aaargghhh!
8-[

Harald

Historically a b c d e f g a, but with b taken as the flat sign they used the next available letter (h) and with Guido d'Arezzo having started his scale at c (UT) that convention stuck, so you get the rotation and the current c d e f g a h c'

Grand Vizier
2004-Mar-25, 03:44 PM
Oh, a counter example are these darn componists: c d e f g a h Aaargghhh!


Dunno, pretty rational compared with a lot of nomenclature in astronomy. How about:

W O B A F G K M R N S

for a start. Then there's Bayer's star cataloguing - there's hardly a constellation where the actual brightness of the stars matches the Greek letter sequence. (see below).

And then there's a further problem with extrasolar planet naming. OK, so the use of a lower-case letter actually reflects the order of discovery - that's understandable. Like others here, I would hope that, if we had a proper catalogue of a solar system, we would name the planets 51 Pegasi I, II, III etc, 'cos I love that old SF system.

Ah hah - but, in the mean time, we've taken to naming the satellites of planets with roman numerals - and in order of discovery, not distance from primary, to boot. So Amalthea, inside the orbit of Io, is Jupiter V.

So we could end up with a real horror like 'Alpha Draconis III IV' (The fourth satellite discovered around the third planet from the primary star Alpha Draconis - which is, by the way, the eighth, not the first brightest star in Draco, just to be really helpful, chaps).

And as for variable star nomenclature...

informant
2004-Mar-25, 03:55 PM
And people complain about Pluto being a planet... ;)

Heimdall
2004-May-01, 10:57 AM
Although it's true that Latin --- a dead language ---

:o WHO KILLED LATIN? :o

Somebody tell the US Treasury, quick!

And the Pope...

And Mel Gibson.
Just on the chance that you don't know:

languages that have no "native" speakers are considered dead languages. Latin during the middle ages was widely known--much more of a lingua franca than French, yet because it had no native speakers and had essentially stopped changing was considered a "dead" language. There are certain advantages to dead languages--words don't of a sudden change their meanings--a stick doesn't become a cigarette or a musical instrument or a person with an alternative sexual lifestyle.

Semper fidelis, cum regio spaticum est!

;)

NASA Fan
2004-May-01, 01:20 PM
...a stick doesn't become a cigarette or a musical instrument or a person with an alternative sexual lifestyle.
OT: Just curious, is there some kind of musical instrument known by that particular name? Or is it some other term for a stick you mean? Or is that just a rhetorical one which it hasn't become?
If it is an instrument, what kind?

My thoughts on reading this comment, is that I know that for non-smokers a cigarette is sometimes refered to as a cancer stick, and that a British slang for a cigarette is a fag, and we all know what most people consider that slang for. I am not sure how to tie the musical instrument in.

Eroica
2004-May-01, 04:47 PM
My thoughts on reading this comment, is that I know that for non-smokers a cigarette is sometimes refered to as a cancer stick, and that a British slang for a cigarette is a fag, and we all know what most people consider that slang for. I am not sure how to tie the musical instrument in.
Fagotto, the Italian for bassoon (as someone mentioned earlier).