Saturday, July 30, 2005

Maybe It Should Be Named Coruscant...

Astronomers claim discovery of solar system's 10th planet
"A group of astronomers announced Friday that an object they discovered in the distant reaches of the solar system is large enough to be classified as the 10th planet -- a claim likely to reignite a debate over just how many objects should really have the title of planet."
The object is larger than Pluto, which is currently the solar system's smallest planet (a title it seems to rotate with Mercury depending on who's in charge at the International Astronomical Union these days). There's some debate on whether Pluto should even be a planet, as it and this new guy are part of the Kuiper Belt, an orbiting mass of icy objects in the other reaches of the solar system.
[Cal Tech scientist Mike] Brown's team has submitted a name for its proposed planet to the IAU, which won't be announced until the astronomy group hands down its ruling.
So, all right, fine, don't tell us what name you picked.

Seriously, if this object is determined to be a planet, what should it be named?

All the other planets in the solar system (except for Earth) are named after Roman gods, so I'm assuming the pattern would hold. They each also hold some similarity to a characteristic of that god (Mercury=fast planet, Jupiter=biggest planet). What do you think it should be named?

Here's a list of possible candidates (with Greek counterpart in parentheses):

Apollo - god of healing, of light, and currently leading a team of Galactica fighter pilots (Gr.: Apollo)
Minerva - goddess of wisdom, war (Gr.: Athena)
Diana - goddess of the hunt (Gr.: Artemis)
Ceres - goddess of agriculture, fertility (Gr.: Demeter)
Juno - wife of Jupiter (Gr. Hera)
Vesta - goddess of fire, the hearth (Gr. Hestia)
Vulcan - god of fire, the forge (this one has been used, I think...) (Gr.: Haephestus)

So, two males gods and five female goddesses - the females are underrepresented in the current arrangement (Venus being the only one) so another female might be only fair. Besides, it fits - the new planet is very far out (ha!), perpetually late (ha ha!), and about 45 degrees off kilter (sorry).

I think my pick at this moment is Minerva - I think it fits, but I hate the name (it reminds me of an old Captain Marvel villain..). I like the Greek name Athena much better, but that's busting tradition. I also like Diana, but that reminds me of Wonder Woman, and all the women on Earth currently named Diana will all get the big head, you know.

What do you think?

No comments:

Post a Comment