Saturday, January 14, 2006

While we're on astronomy...

I was reading about this in the Washington Post's PARADE supplement for Sunday (yes, I know it's only Saturday), so I guess they don't have this one online yet. But here's a TIME article that mentions the new planet UB313.

You know what that means? They haven't named it yet! Personally, I think they should name it Medea. But that's just me...

9 Comments:

Blogger Alun said...

I think Medea wouldn't be accepted as it might be confused with 212 Medea, a large asteroid in the main belt. See the Wikipedia for details.

The naming of the companion moon to Pluto, Charon has an odd tale to it. It was named by its discoverer James Christy, but he pronounced the Ch sound as 'sh', not 'k' as it would be in Greek. The reason is his wife's name is Charlene. There's more on Charon on the Vicipaedia

11:48 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

Hrmm, fascinating, thanks!

And it figures that there is already a Medea--too bad!

Has Hecate been taken?

11:55 AM  
Blogger Alun said...

There isn't a Hecate as far as I know, but it could be confused with 100 Hekate. Hekate is also in the main belt and, ironically, it's a lot brighter than would be expected for an asteroid of its type.

Harvard has a site that's more or less up-to-date with asteroid names at:
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/MPNames.html

6:35 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

You are a truly excellent person. Thank you!

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Brett said...

Speaking as a refugee from astronomy, I think if the name has already been taken (and virtually all of the good ones have been by now), then either reuse it or rename the asteroid. Yes, it might cause some confusion (tho then there's always the unique minor planet number to sort that out) but I'd rather have a cool classical name for a new planet than risk getting something like Quaoar!

8:38 PM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

lol! I appreciate the diversity, but could they have not come up with something better? And consistency in the planets would be nice. Hm.

Actually, I was thinking it would be funny to name it Priapus...

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Brett said...

Heh, yes that's a good one. Somebody should suggest it to the IAU. Just don't tell them what he was the god of!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Glaukôpis said...

::grin:: So very tempting...

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Jim Fitzpatrick said...

Regarding the naming of the 10th planet, It seems that Vulcan is last last major name not in use (Hecate is, indeed, an asteroid). However, 2 other, appropriate names (which don't seen to be taken) are Erebus (Gr. Erebos) and Nox (Gr. Nyx), both associated with Orphism and very significant in that particular Greek religion.

5:27 PM  

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