13 December 2012

The Moon With No Name


Mercury has no moons. Venus has no moons.
Mars has two moons, Phobos and Deimos ("fear" and "panic")

Jupiter has 67 known moons with secured orbits.  Moons are named after lovers, conquests or daughters of the Roman god Jupiter, or his Greek predecessor, Zeus.

Saturn has 62 moons with confirmed orbits, 53 of which have names. Twenty-two of these are traditionally named after Titans or other figures associated with the Roman god, Saturn. Thirty-eight moons are small, irregular and classified by their orbital characteristics into Inuit, Norse, and Gallic groups, with their names chosen from the corresponding mythologies.


Uranus has 27 moons, all named after characters from the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope's poem, The Rape of the Lock.  (Someone must have a sense of humour. Rape? Uranus? Seriously.)

Neptune has 13 named moons; the largest, Triton.

Pluto has five moons. Its largest moon is Charon, named after the ferryman who took souls across to the underworld.  Other moons are Nix, Hydra, S/2011 P 1 and S/2012 P 1.

Haumea is a dwarf planet with two moons, Namaka and Hi'iaka. Eris, another dwarf planet, has one known moon, Dysnomia.


Do you get the impression that our moon is missing something, like, a name? Not even one of those boring numerical names. It’s just called the moon or Luna, which is Latin for “moon.” It’s the equivalent of naming your child, Human Being. “Stop misbehaving right this minute, Human Being, or else.” Hmm... actually, that kinda sounds good.

Earth’s moon is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System. It’s in synchronous rotation with Earth, and so  always shows the same face. Since ancient times, its prominence in the sky has made it an important cultural influence on language, calendars, art and mythology.


I think it’s about time we give this wonderful, generous, celestial body a name. I was thinking Donald. What do you suggest?


16 comments:

  1. Lord Samuel III23:49

    You're missing the point. The word for a moon, in whatever language, was invented for OUR moon. So in a sense, its name is...its name, not the word which describes it. Damn it, don't you get that? It's the first! - so "Moon" or "Luna" is the equivalent of "Adam", not "human being". You should change YOUR name to "fool"! I miss you bro. I'm a little hungover; yesterday was last day of term - all-day auditions. That's why I missed your calls - I'll get in touch over the weekend. I trust I have made my "Moon" point in most elliptical-orbit-like fashion - that is to say: badly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I disagree, your Lordiness. By your logic, we should all be called "Adams" instead of "human beings."
      If the "Moon" was in fact a name, as you suggest, then it wouldn't have an article, i.e. "the," when we speak of it; we would say, "I want to go to Moon." But no, Audition boy, we say, "I want to go to THE moon." (See, I can shout too.)
      Similarly, I don't say: The Samuel is hungover. A Samuel is not a thing. Sorry, this must be hard to hear.
      "Moon" is not a name, but a noun. It is also a verb, used to describe the exposure of one's buttocks suddenly and publicly as a prank or gesture of disrespect. And THIS is what really matters.

      I miss you too, brother. :)

      Delete
    2. Sir Samuel of Zamunda DAMN IT01:25

      No, no, no, no, NO! And I'm not shouting, it's just that CAPITALISING is the only way I can suggest ITALICISING in this post. Ok, now I AM shouting. But not when I said, "AM," just now. But just now, I was. Ok so I told you I was hungover. But still my theory holds water, and one day I humbly hope that it will be recognised by all as the greatest theory of all time. Certain words come from the gut, from the core, from the soul, whatever you want to call it - a deep inner need that creates a profound impulse to NAME something. DAMN IT! These are the fundaments of life. When early, hairy, Ara-like man looked up at the as-yet-unnamed moon, looked up at her through clear, unpolluted, pre-McDowells skies, he didn't know that there were other things out there that could be lumped in the same category as this silvery eye above that seemed to be looking down on him and making him feel so horny. He looked up at this thing, and his eyes shone in the dark with some emotion he couldn't quite understand, and his hairy arms began to flail and fly all about his hairy face, and finally, FINALLY, with deep effort and concentration a single sound escaped him, a sound that encapsulated everything that the grey turd above made him feel about his existence. That sound - that word, my friend - was "Moo". The "n" came much, much later. Oh, Ara, you should have seen it. The article came much later too, you see, as we came to understand that there were other things out there LIKE the moon. I can't remember what my point was. But "Mama", for example, is pretty much the same in every language; this is because of the shape babies make with their mouths when they're hungry for milk and want to suckle - it comes from deep, biological need. That's science. And "Adam" IS the word for "human being", or for "man", rather. And THAT is my point.

      DOTTIE! GET 'IM!

      Delete
    3. I think you are missing MY, more gooder, point.
      It is true that "Adam" means "human being," and yes, I can certainly see hairy "adams" looking towards the sky with exasterated "Moo's." I really can, you Lordshipness. Sure, early man would not have know about the other moons, planets, and celestial sexy bodies up there; looking up at our moon would have made their souls glo, and made it oh so silky smooth, giving birth to existential thoughts and migraine headaches. BUT - and this "but" is bigger than someone subjected to 50,000 of your squat thrusts - BUT we have greater knowledge now.
      As soon as we did learn of the other pretty things in the sky - e.g. stars, black holes and double rainbows - we became carried away with naming them. In fact, the adams of today name EVERYTHING. And this is MY point. We are no longer the hairy man-cow creatures of before. We've evolved, and we have intelligent minds and opposable thumbs and scientology robots, and we name everything, people, places, animals, objects, time (e.g. Hammer Time)... everything in all eleven dimensions, Sir Samuel. EVERYTHING! And I am only suggesting that we upgrayedd our relationship with THE moon but giving it a name... or at least dropping the "the." Can't you get that through your greasy head?

      Delete
  2. King Jaffe Joffer08:07

    How dare you speak to the Prince in this way?! "Exasterated"? Don't you mean "exasturbated"? And I can't believe you shouted at him. Ok I see your point - and it is, indeed, a point, in the mathematical sense that it is the smallest thing that can be imagined. I think it's important to keep the original name as THE name precisely because this signifies that it's the first of its kind we noticed. You may be able to convince me on dropping the article, as we (sometimes) do with (the) Earth. For your birthday I thought about buying you the Moon; but since one can fairly assume you will name it something hippy-pretentious, like "Wavemagnet" or "Semenica" I have decided instead to buy you a fossilised pterodactyl turd and have it plated in finest gold from the Royal Bullion Depository, so that you can name it howsoever you see fit. That is all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know you're a pilot and all, but I'm President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, and I will supersize this 'bating language however I so desire. Also, I have decided to rename our planet: Wavemagnetlandiastan.

      And if you're really a prince, I'll marry you.

      Delete
  3. Lovely photos, Ara. Where were they taken?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Theresa. =)

      1. Melbourne
      2. Atacama desert, Chile
      3. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
      4. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

      Delete
  4. Huuuum, I've been thinking and thinking about that too...

    It's seems to me that Adam and Eve, once created, started creating names for everything.
    -What's that? Let's call it a tree. And this? Let's call it a human being... oh, and what do you think of "Apple" for this kind of fruit?
    Then after they consumated (the apple), they came to this lovely satellite up there. And they called it Moon.

    Years later, David was having a party with Jonathan, they got a bit drunk and started to talk about the other objects in the sky.
    -You see over there, the little dot revolving around Uranus?
    -The moon? but it's revolving around the Earth, not Myanus.
    -Yes but you see there's a satellite like Moon and I don't know how to name it...
    -Ok, so your not talking about THE Moon. So let's give a name to other stellites so we don't mix up with THE Moon.

    Eventually, we ended up writing The moon instead of THE Moon, forgetting to stress on THE.

    This is segĂșn me how God inspired the first people who named things around. God himself might have been THE God once. With so many gods around in hinduism, aztequism, etc. all having names (Shiva, Quetzacoatl, etc.), it seems He prefered to be called God. Some tried however to name Him around 600 AD. Allah is now a name for God becoming more and more succesful those days. But another part of the population of the Earth, being a bit conservative, still keep calling him God.

    Now, that doesn't solve the problem of The Sun and The Earth. There are numerous suns in the universe already having names, so why not our Sun too? Question pending. About the Earth, it seems to be quite unique, but scientist are desperatly trying to find another possible Earth around and when they'll finelly spot one, humanity will have to address the question of naming the Earth too...

    Anyway, to me, personnaly, it never really disturb me that the Moon, The Sun and other object had no propper name, as I grew up with 2 dogs called The Dog and The Dog (they surprisingly were very intuitive finding out which one we were addressing while calling them), and one cat called The Cat. Even the 29 years old lion toy I still keep in my bedroom I always called him MyLion (it should be The Lion but it seems I was possessive-naming when I was a child)...

    The only thing I cannot really explain is about God. Mysterious Guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To be honest, it doesn't bother me either. I just thought it might be fun to give the moon a common name, like Susan, Gregory or Nancy. haha
      But I do quite like the way you named your pets and toy lion. =)

      Delete
  5. In Arabic we call it Kamar. It is also a name for female human beings. So in Arabic, Kamar are both a noun and a name. See ? Problem solved. You should learn Arabic :P

    ReplyDelete
  6. In Arabic we call it Kamar. It is also a name for female human beings. So in Arabic, Kamar are both a noun and a name. See ? Problem solved. You should learn Arabic :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, YES! Problem solved!!
      Thanks Hanae :D

      Delete
  7. Our moon, Luna, was always considered to be female, or feminine, and it is also a name given to women... so we should give a female name.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point. :)
      I think "Kamar," as Hanae suggested above, is a female name.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous01:35

    This text is priceless. When can I find out more?

    my weblog: jobs that are hiring online

    ReplyDelete