Saturday, January 17, 2015

Science: A Moon By Any Other Name

 Earth? Terrible name for a planet. Might as well call it dirt. Planet Dirt.
 - Jetfire, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

According to ABCNews and QI (watch the episode here: UK or non-UK), arguments have arisen on whether Earth's moon is a moon or a small planet. While it is good for all to have a lively debate within the scientific community (that is, after all, what separates science from religion), I have one problem with this whole hullabaloo:

Can we stop calling it "The Moon"?

You're going to confuse a lot of non-scientific people by trying to argue that The Moon is not a moon. Even calling it Luna (though luna is just "moon" in Latin) is better, at least in English-speaking countries.

Or better yet, give it a real name. All of the other moon-ish items in our solar system have names of their own, and not just "moon" is different languages, so the least we could do it honor it with one of its own.

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