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Bill Thmpson
2003-Dec-04, 12:43 AM
ok, this is not so obvious as it may sound. What is the name of The Moon. No, "The Moon" is not an acceptable answer because planets that have moons have unique names for those moons. What is the name of the Earth's moon?

And "Luna" is not acceptable either because that means "the moon" in several languages.

Glom
2003-Dec-04, 12:55 AM
Bob

SouthofHeaven
2003-Dec-04, 01:03 AM
Bob

Yeah In noticed the name patch on its chest too. :D
But I would suspect that it would come from the name of a companion to Gaia. Since Gaia seems to be the alternate name for the Earth?

Andromeda321
2003-Dec-04, 01:24 AM
I thought the Earth was Terra...

Normandy6644
2003-Dec-04, 01:27 AM
Damn! I hate trick questions!

Perhaps we should ask it.

"Uh, Mr. Moon sir?"
"Yeah?"
"What's your name?"
"Why don't you ask Pink Floyd..."

Lycus
2003-Dec-04, 01:47 AM
I thought the Earth was Terra...

It's Terra in Latin, Gaea or Gaia in Greek.


But I would suspect that it would come from the name of a companion to Gaia.

The problem with that is that the companion of Gaea is Uranus.

Vermonter
2003-Dec-04, 02:38 AM
My vote is Selune

freddo
2003-Dec-04, 02:48 AM
I'm with Vermonter, only Selene.

Or Artemis.

freddo
2003-Dec-04, 02:54 AM
And "Luna" is not acceptable either because that means "the moon" in several languages.

Incidently, why is this unacceptable?

- any name for The Moon is going to mean 'the Moon' - it's a bit redundant to do it other ways.
- is 'Luna' an appropriate title to describe any of the other satellites in the Solar System?

Archer17
2003-Dec-04, 02:58 AM
I like Selene .. Artemis reminds of Artemis Gordon of Wild Wild West fame :D

Lycus
2003-Dec-04, 03:17 AM
Or Artemis.

Or if we wanted to follow the pattern set by the planetary names, then it would be Diana.

Bill Thmpson
2003-Dec-04, 03:20 AM
I was hoping to get an educated response to this question.

Well, if there really isn't a name for the Earth's Moon shouldn't this issue be resolved?

Also, isn't this an indication of our arrogant attitude in the sense that we, humans, still feel that we are the center of the Universe? I mean, it is "The Earth" but never "The Mars". It is "The Planet, Mars" but rarely do I hear, "The Planet, Earth"

Bill Thmpson
2003-Dec-04, 03:22 AM
And "Luna" is not acceptable either because that means "the moon" in several languages.

Incidently, why is this unacceptable?



because it would lead to the same problem in that language.
"Que e nome o terra luna?"
"Luna e nome do luna."
"por que? issu nau faz senso!"

Superluminal
2003-Dec-04, 03:35 AM
Well, here's my 2 cents worth. I would guess that going back to the ancient days, long before the telescope, it was obvious to every one that Earth had only one moon. So therefore the moon was The Moon. There was no need to give it an official name. If Earth had more than one moon, then there would be a need to name them.
Well, that's what I think, anybody have a better answer, without being to silly?

Normandy6644
2003-Dec-04, 03:38 AM
I was hoping to get an educated response to this question.

Well, if there really isn't a name for the Earth's Moon shouldn't this issue be resolved?

Also, isn't this an indication of our arrogant attitude in the sense that we, humans, still feel that we are the center of the Universe? I mean, it is "The Earth" but never "The Mars". It is "The Planet, Mars" but rarely do I hear, "The Planet, Earth"

It is often referred to as simply "Earth." In fact, grammatically it is only capitalized when the article is absent, i.e., the earth, not the Earth. As for the moon, it's kind of in the same boat as the sun. It doesn't have a proper star name (at least not to my knowledge), and no matter what since we are observing these celestial objects from Earth we are disposed to naming them as ours. That doesn't make them so, but either way we don't need to "name" it to identify it.

freddo
2003-Dec-04, 04:25 AM
Also, isn't this an indication of our arrogant attitude

I don't feel it's arrogant... It's the centre of our existence, the place we hold dear more than anywhere... Isn't it reasonable that we hold it special?

Archer17
2003-Dec-04, 04:26 AM
I was hoping to get an educated response to this question.

Well, if there really isn't a name for the Earth's Moon shouldn't this issue be resolved?I agree with the others that don't consider this a big deal Bill Thompson. What kind of educated response are you looking for? Most celestial bodies were given names of contemporary deities and, at least as far as the moon goes, nothing obviously stuck. Since it didn't, it's just "the Moon" .. I don't consider it an issue that needs resolved. If someone says "the Moon," we know what they're referring to. Works for me.
Also, isn't this an indication of our arrogant attitude in the sense that we, humans, still feel that we are the center of the Universe? I mean, it is "The Earth" but never "The Mars". It is "The Planet, Mars" but rarely do I hear, "The Planet, Earth"Just a nitpick of semantics to me. Who cares? I wouldn't necessarily call it arrogance but as far as we (us Earthlings go), we are the center of our known universe, not literally .. but figuratively. Until it's proven otherwise, we are the only intelligent inhabitants of this universe. If that turns out to be the case, and I hope it's not, then I guess what you call our "arrogance" is justified, at least in a figurative sense.

Superluminal
2003-Dec-04, 06:03 AM
If the anciants had known that there where moons around other planets, they may have given a name to the Moon to set it apart from the others. Since they lacked that knowledge, then there was only one moon in the whole universe.

Peter B
2003-Dec-04, 06:40 AM
ok, this is not so obvious as it may sound. What is the name of The Moon. No, "The Moon" is not an acceptable answer because planets that have moons have unique names for those moons. What is the name of the Earth's moon?

And "Luna" is not acceptable either because that means "the moon" in several languages.

Bill

Come and visit Dr Karl's Self Service Science Forum (http://www2b.abc.net.au/science/k2/stn/) and ask the question there. It's been asked there before, and the professional astronomer who answers questions there gets a little annoyed.

To him, the name of the Moon is the Moon (not Luna); the name of the Earth is the Earth (not Terra); the name of the Sun is the Sun (not Sol). I imagine the BA would say the same thing. It's not arrogance, it's practicality.

informant
2003-Dec-04, 01:04 PM
ok, this is not so obvious as it may sound. What is the name of The Moon. No, "The Moon" is not an acceptable answer because planets that have moons have unique names for those moons.
Look at your own text: planets with moons have unique names for them. In this sentence, 'moon' is a common noun; it's the name of a class of objects.

Other planets have specific names for their moons, but our moon is special, because it's ours, and it was the first we ever saw. So we call it the Moon.When we capitalize the word, it becomes a proper noun, the name of a particular object.

Also, the Moon was here before any other moon, linguistically. For millennia, the word 'Moon', in any language, referred to only one object, our satellite. You can tell me that that was only because we weren't aware that there were other moons. That's true, but then they're only called 'moons' because we felt that they were somewhat similar to our own, one and only, Moon.

This is a common phenomenon in language: a proper noun becomes common, by analogy. Another example is the word 'sandwich'. Originally, it was the name of a particular person, but when we use it today we're talking about a class of objects. If we want to mention the original person from which the word came, we capitalize it: Sandwich. A more similar example (Italian, but well-known) is papparazzo. Originally, this was the name of a character in an Italian film, but it has since become a common noun that is applied to a whole class of journalists.

And, in case you're worried about spoken language, context generally makes it clear whether we're talking about the Moon, or a moon.


"Que e nome o terra luna?"
"Luna e nome do luna."
"por que? issu nau faz senso!"
Esperanto? :)

gethen
2003-Dec-04, 01:49 PM
I guess I don't see much of a problem either. If and when we run into intelligent beings from another planet, and that planet has a large satellite, they'll call it something that means "moon" in their own languages or language. And we'll say "They call their moon the Gork." And they'll say, "They call their gork the Moon." If they have multiple moons it won't change much, and we will almost certainly follow their lead and use their terms for their satellites.
We've already named the moons of other planets in our system, and generically, we call them moons. But when we say "the Moon" everyone knows we're not talking about Ganymede or Io.

Swift
2003-Dec-04, 02:46 PM
I guess I don't see much of a problem either. If and when we run into intelligent beings from another planet, and that planet has a large satellite, they'll call it something that means "moon" in their own languages or language. And we'll say "They call their moon the Gork." And they'll say, "They call their gork the Moon."
It is sort of the same thing with what groups of people (tribes, nations, etc.) call themselves. Very frequently, it translates as "The People" or something similar.

ToSeek
2003-Dec-04, 03:57 PM
I like Selene .. Artemis reminds of Artemis Gordon of Wild Wild West fame :D

I think that was "Artemus," actually.

constible
2003-Dec-04, 04:06 PM
If we just grouped and called them natural satellites, then Moon would be another name, just like Io.

Kaptain K
2003-Dec-04, 04:23 PM
I'm with those who do not see a problem. The word "earth" or "terra" means "land". The word "Earth" or "Terra" or "Tellus" means "the planet we live on". Similarly, "moon" means "satelite of a planet", but "Moon" or "Luna" or "Selene" means "satelite of Earth".

russ_watters
2003-Dec-04, 04:29 PM
I'm with those who do not see a problem. The word "earth" or "terra" means "land". The word "Earth" or "Terra" or "Tellus" means "the planet we live on". Similarly, "moon" means "satelite of a planet", but "Moon" or "Luna" or "Selene" means "satelite of Earth". Kinda like "sun" and the "Sun." Yeah, I don't see a problem either.

WHarris
2003-Dec-04, 05:07 PM
Bob

Kosh.

We are all Kosh.
:D

Lurker
2003-Dec-04, 05:14 PM
Bob

This just doesn't work... I simply cannot see performing pagan rituals when "Bob" is full!! [-(

Where is the beauty and romance in that!! :)

Swift
2003-Dec-04, 09:13 PM
Where is the beauty and romance in that!! :)
music please "By the light, of the silvery Bob....". I guess you're right. #-o

In Bear in the Big Blue House I think the moon is named Luna. And she talks to Bear too!

Glom
2003-Dec-04, 10:00 PM
How about we call it Cynthia?

Lurker
2003-Dec-04, 10:18 PM
How about we call it Cynthia?

My sister's name is Cynthia... it would be like having her looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life... :o

gethen
2003-Dec-04, 10:30 PM
How about we call it Cynthia?

And the man in the moon becomes a pigeon in the moon?

R.A.F.
2003-Dec-04, 10:36 PM
If we just grouped and called them natural satellites, then Moon would be another name, just like Io.

Yes. When we speak of the "moons" of the other planets, it is proper to refer to them as satellites. We've fallen into the bad habit of using the proper name of Earth's natural satellite...the Moon...to describe the natural satellites of other planets. The "name" of the Moon is the Moon.

Wingnut Ninja
2003-Dec-04, 10:39 PM
What is the name of the Earth's moon?


Our Lady of Perpetual Consternation.