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impactcrater

Words Words Words

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I know you are all erudite and not aphrodite....perhaps....

I want you to hit me with the origins of the words we use continuously in astronomy...to my failing I discovered that the word "astronomy' does not come from the Latin astro meaning star and nom/nym meaning name in Latin but from the Greek astron/star and nomos/law or rule

over to you Oh clever ones....

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Galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias, meaning milky, hence Milky Way.

Zodiac - from ancient Greek for cycle/circle of little animals. 

But perhaps the most interesting etymologies are those of the stars.  Betelgeuse, for instance could be from the Arabic ibt al-jauza (armpit of the central one!) or bait al-jauza (house of the twins (nearby Gemini)).

Amongst the finest names of stars must be Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali.  Although in Libra, they represent the claws of adjacent Scorpius, so the former means southern claw, the latter, northern claw (Arabic).

Lots of interest to be found in this topic I reckon!

Doug.

Edited by cloudsweeper
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I'm no expert, but a lot of the terms used by imagers must have origins in France.

I say this because often you will hear a string of phrases muttered, followed by "excuse my French!"

Astrology pre-dates ancient Greece, so i'm guessing there is some Sumerian word for it somewhere.

Intriguing topic, will follow with interest.

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The word Disaster has astronomical links. Dis = bad and Aster = star, and probably has links to  the appearance of a comet or shooting star in early times...

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2 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

Galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias, meaning milky, hence Milky Way.

I always smile when people say 'Milky Way Galaxy'. :icon_biggrin:

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7 minutes ago, iPeace said:

I always smile when people say 'Milky Way Galaxy'. :icon_biggrin:

Me too!

I think that i’m about to get some chocolate ?

Good thread!

Paul

PS. I hope to add something useful to the thread later. It’ll take a bit of a run up to join the ‘clever ones’ this morning.

Edited by Paul73
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I like some of the humorous modern acronyms such as those two canditates for filling the Dark Matter void:

Weakly Interacting Massive ParticleS

MAssive Compact Halo ObjectS

:Dlly

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Astrophotography. Astro=star+photo=light+ grapho=write. Writing the light of the stars. It looks like it's not all Greek to you after all, is it? :icon_biggrin:

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And yet Astrology should mean Science of the stars. Hmm hardly scientific...

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1 hour ago, ollypenrice said:

some of the humorous modern acronyms

I think scientists go out of their way to create acronyms like that.

When I was at college, I was engaged in a project which included measuring how fine the sand on Formby beach was in various locations populated by polychaete worms. We couldn't find the proper name so we called it the Distribution Of Sand Sizes Index, or 'DOSS index' for short.

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I saw a programme the other day about quasars and they kept referring to hot dust obscured galaxies as 'hotdogs!

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Popular ATM, no idea how long it's been around, is GOAT = greatest of all time or in my case, grumpy old astro tinkerer.

Dave

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I think many of you may already know this, but planet means "wanderer" from the Greek planētai, as they appear to be stars that wander around the sky.

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The Greek origin for our words seem less obvious than e.g. Latin? But
therein we are often spared?! With Particle Physics discovering heavy
quarks came "Fnar" terms like "Naked Bottom" & "Open Top"! Worse
still, the inversions therof? Better stick to Greek (Latin) nomenclature? :p

Not sure of relavance here, but made my *inner schoolboy* chuckle:
http://mentalfloss.com/article/59544/11-naughty-sounding-scientific-names-and-what-they-really-mean

:D
 

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13 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

Galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias, meaning milky, hence Milky Way.

Ah of course. The root for lactic, lactose etc!

Edited by Cyclops

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15 minutes ago, Cyclops said:

Ah of course. The root for lactic, lactose etc!

Indeed - Via Lactea, the Milky Way.

Scary statistic: our Sun takes about 240 million years - 240 MILLION YEARS! - to orbit the galactic centre.  

Doug.

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5 minutes ago, cloudsweeper said:

Indeed - Via Lactea, the Milky Way.

Scary statistic: our Sun takes about 240 million years - 240 MILLION YEARS! - to orbit the galactic centre.  

Doug.

Pah, a mere blink of an eye ;)

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3 minutes ago, Cyclops said:

Pah, a mere blink of an eye ;)

And that's quite something when you've only got one!  :happy11:

Doug.

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1 hour ago, cloudsweeper said:

And that's quite something when you've only got one!  :happy11:

Doug.

Indeed!

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20 hours ago, impactcrater said:

I know you are all erudite and not aphrodite....perhaps....

Come again!!!!. 

All i know is that most words/names and terms we use today in astronomy come from Greek/Latin and Arabic. Probably most so from Arabic.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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8 hours ago, cloudsweeper said:

Scary statistic: our Sun takes about 240 million years - 240 MILLION YEARS! - to orbit the galactic centre.

You mean I'm going to have to wait that long to see the bits of scenery I missed while I was asleep last night:eek:?

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1 hour ago, Demonperformer said:

You mean I'm going to have to wait that long (240 million years) to see the bits of scenery I missed while I was asleep last night:eek:?

No - it's going by so slowly that you'll be able to catch it again tonight!  :happy11:

Doug.

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And then there are those terms which are so delicious that you have to turn them over in your mouth and pronounce them aloud for the sheer joy of it...

Bok Globule

Last scattering surface

Event horizon

Olly

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5 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

And then there are those terms which are so delicious that you have to turn them over in your mouth and pronounce them aloud for the sheer joy of it...

I think that the use of such terms needs to be “thoroughly thought through” (stolen from a Stephen Fry novel.)

Edited by AKB
Typo!
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